My mom rarely used recipes so imagine my delight when I found this one tucked into a drawer more than 10 years after she passed away- and in her handwriting, too! I’m not sure where she got it but it turns out absolutely perfect every time I make it. Plus it is so fast and so easy. Use this recipe when guests are coming over, for a holiday meal, or even for a fast weeknight supper. It is so good but nobody will ever guess how simple it is to make.

An easy, peasy crowd pleaser. Try my Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Black Pepper Crust. You'll love it!

An easy, peasy crowd pleaser. Try my Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Black Pepper Crust. You'll love it!

Skill Level: Easy

Prep Time: 10 minutes    Cook time: 35 minutes


2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted

½ teaspoon whole black peppercorns

¾ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon white wine (substitute water if you like)

1 pound pork tenderloin

1 tablespoon olive oil


Heat oven to 350°F.

Using a cutting board and a sharp knife, carefully remove any silver skin on the exterior of the tenderloin. Set aside.

Lightly toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan over low heat. When cool, combine the fennel and black peppercorns and use a spice grinder to pulse until it becomes a medium to coarse mix. (Or simply put them into a ziptop bag and use a heavy skillet or rolling pin to crush the fennel seeds and the peppercorns.) Combine with the salt. Spread the spice mixture out on a clean work surface or pan.

Whisk the wine into the mustard and brush the mustard over the tenderloin. Roll the tenderloin in the spice mix making sure to press so that all of the spices stick. Put 1 ½ teaspoons of the olive oil on your pan and put the tenderloin on top of it. Drizzle the remaining 1 ½ teaspoons olive oil over the top of the tenderloin. Roast until done, about 35 minutes or until pork reaches 155°F on a meat thermometer. Remove from the oven and tent with foil for 10 minutes. The pork will continue to cook to 160°F. Slice and serve.

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This Slow-Roasted Pork recipe is one of my favorite recipes for entertaining because you can do so much with it. You can serve it over creamy, cheesy grits or put it into tortillas with a squeeze of lime to make street tacos. Best of all, you can make it ahead and it is super inexpensive to feed a big crowd. Get my party plan for a DIY Taco Bar where guests have a variety of condiments and serve themselves. Set it and forget it... nothing easier for game day, tailgating, a Super Bowl party, or New Year's Day.

My Slow-Roasted Chipotle Pork is one of the most delicious and easiest recipes I have to feed a big crowd. You can also cook it in your slow cooker but I usually put mine in my cast-iron Dutch oven. (Photos by Arden Photography)

PREP TIME: 1 hour     COOK TIME: 3 1/2-4 hours depending on size



 1 ½ tablespoons kosher salt

1 ½  tablespoons chipotle powder  **

1 pork shoulder roast (Boston Butt) about 3-1/2 -4 pounds

2 dozen small corn tortillas***

2 limes, cut into wedges

1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, optional


Before you plan to cook the pork, take it out of the refrigerator for 15 minutes. In a small bowl, mix together kosher salt and chipotle powder and rub in into the pork, being sure to cover the entire surface of the meat with the mixture. Put the pork in heavy covered cooker, Dutch oven, or roasting pan. Allow it to sit for one hour before you put it in the oven.  

 Place in the oven. Turn the heat to 275 degrees.  Cook until the port falls apart when you press it with the back of a fork—approximately 3-1/2 to 4 hours or about an hour per pound.  Remove it from the oven and let it rest covered for 15 minutes. (Of course, you can also cook this in your Crock-Pot or slow cooker,)

For the tortillas: Heat the tortillas on a medium-hot griddle, turning them frequently, until they are warmed through and soft (or heat them in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel).  Wrap them in a towel and place in a basket.  Transfer the pork to a large serving platter and use tongs or two forks to shred into chunks.  Add the lime wedges to the platter, place the cilantro in a small serving bowl and serve immediately, with the warm tortillas on the side.

To fill the tortillas, double them up so they don’t tear apart; place one on top of another on a plate, spoon some of the pork on top, squeeze a little lime juice over the pork, sprinkle some cilantro on top and fold in half.

 ** McCormick brand chipotle powder is what I use.  If you can’t find the powder, look for the whole dried chilies and grind them.  If you can’t find that, use the canned chipotles in adobo sauce and puree them in a blender.

 *** Tip: Get fresh, homemade tortillas at a favorite restaurant! Cheaper and better!


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