The Cottage Smallholder

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Recipe for pork tenderloin in a tomato and pepper sauce

Pork tenderloin with a tomato and bell pepper sauce

Pork tenderloin with a tomato and bell pepper sauce

Every year we bottle/can loads of tomatoes for use over the winter. These are sweet and the flavour is delicate. But however many jars I make we find that they always run out by Christmas. Luckily we love good quality tinned plum tomatoes. They have to be whole tomatoes rather than the chopped ones. These tinned toms are more expensive than the value brands but they taste so much better. Over the last few months there have been loads of half price offers in the supermarkets and I cashed in big time.

A few days before I invented this recipe, I was fiddling around in the kitchen whilst some tinned tomatoes simmered gently in a sauté pan on the stove. I discovered that after about 40 mins they were reduced to a delicious paste of tomato heaven. They no longer tasted just like a tin of superior tomatoes, the flavour was superb. I hadn’t even added garlic or herbs.

My mind raced. Anyone could get home from work, empty a tin of tomatoes into a saute pan that would bubble gently away whilst they had a shower, poured a glass of wine  or cuddled the dog. As long as they liked tomatoes, this sauce could be the base for so many recipes – vegetarian and carnivore alike.

This tinned tomato base ‘sauce’ will be cooked a lot here at the cottage. It would team well with courgettes, mini sweet corn and so much more. It could be spiced up with chilli sherry or cayenne. The potential is limitless. This is the first of my experiments at the tomato cauldron.

I chose pork tenderloin (also known as fillet) for this recipe as its rich succulence is the perfect foil for the summery flavour of the sauce. We marinaded the pork in a little white wine and olive oil. Marinading is not essential but the pork will be a little drier if just sliced and added to the sauce. Of course then this would be a low fat recipe.

Pork tenderloin in a tomato and red pepper sauce


250g – 300g of pork tenderloin/fillet – marinated in 1 tbsp of white wine and I tbsp of olive oil for at least an hour before cooking
1 tin of good quality tomatoes
1 chunky clove of garlic or 1 tsp of garlic granules
Large pinch of Herbs of Provence
1.5 red bell peppers – washed, deseeded and sliced into 1cm x 3cm chunks
Half a green bell pepper, prepared as above
A good splosh of red wine (optional)


Add the tinned tomatoes to a sauté pan over a medium/low heat (our knobs run from 1-10 and I chose 2). Meanwhile prepare the peppers.

Add the peppers, herbs and garlic and stir well. Simmer gently for about 40 minutes – lid off – stirring occasionally. If the sauce is thickening too quickly, pop a lid on the sauté pan. After 40 minutes add a decent splosh of red wine and stir well.

Meanwhile cut the tenderloin into strips – 3cm long, 2cm wide and 1cm deep. Add the pork right at the end of cooking the sauce. Bring the sauce up to simmering point and stir until the pork strips cook through completely.

Serve on warm plates with *Basmati rice.

*Basmati rice – if you cook the rice in chicken or vegetable stock (we use a cube) it tastes much better.


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  1. KarenO

    I’ve just started making sauces by reducing tinned tomatoes or passatta – inspired by HFW veg book. I always make a big CS tomato sauce in the summer when Lidl reduce their vine tomatoes to half price (99p kg)but this is limited by a) waiting for the reduction b)time to process about 9kg in batches and c)freezer space (even though we have 2). Inevitably we run out by this time of year and are desperately waiting for the generosity of Lidl so I can make some more. It’s so convenient once you have a large batch in the freezer. I didn’t know about the superior brands of tinned tomatoes. They have all become so expensive I had cut back on buying them a little but I’ve now stocked up on the Smart Price ones. Next time I’ll try a superior brand. Thank you again Fiona for sharing your experiences.

  2. brightspark

    Cooking this today – thanks Fiona!

  3. I agree completely about buying whole rather than chopped tomatoes. I often end up cutting bits off no matter how premium the brand, (though i might be being fussy) and think that with a tin of chopped I wouldn’t have that choice.

    I was told once that cooking tomatoes without breaking them down by stirring or crushing keeps them sweetest, then you can break them up if necessary at the end of cooking, just before serving. Not sure what the theory was based on – something about the seeds maybe?

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