For the main photo of this post, I didn't even bother plating the food before photographing it. I wanted you all to see the results of the recipe right in the slow cooker. This cooking method is such a great technique for putting together everything you need for dinner all in the slow cooker at one time.
We got hit with a bit of a winter storm here in Michigan in the afternoon on Tuesday. Knowing in the morning that the weatherman was mentioning possible power outages later in the day, I knew that I didn't want to have to worry about trying to make dinner without any power. So, I got out the slow cooker and got a pork tenderloin going quite early in the morning to ensure that dinner would be cooked and ready should power go out anytime after the storm hit.
The general idea of this cooking method is that an entire meal can be made in the slow cooker all at one time - even the side dishes - by utilizing foil or small, disposable aluminum containers/trays for different components of the dinner, as necessary. For example, you can wrap up some whole, scrubbed potatoes individually in foil, do the same with some corn on the cob and throw them all in the slow cooker while a small pork roast or slices of ham are cooking. Everything gets done at the same time. You have only one cooking vessel to wash and you end up with a delicious dinner ready when you are!
For this recipe, I tossed in a small pork tenderloin (unwrapped), threw in some chunks of potatoes, poured on an Italian Parmesan vinaigrette and laid a foil packet of seasoned whole green beans on top.
NOTE: You could easily substitute 4 or 5 chicken breasts for the pork tenderloin in this recipe. Also, if you didn't want your potatoes in with the Italian Parmesan vinaigrette, you could package those up separately in foil, too, with a little olive oil (or butter) and some seasoning.
1 small-to-medium pork tenderloin
6 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/2 cup good-quality Italian dressing
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
8 - 10 oz. fresh or frozen green beans
1 tablespoon butter
Coat slow cooker insert with non-stick spray. Season pork with salt and pepper on both sides. Place pork in bottom of slow cooker. Toss in the peeled, cut potatoes around and on top of pork.
In a small bowl, mix together the dressing, Parmesan cheese and Italian seasoning. Pour over meat and potatoes. Try to ensure that all of the potatoes are coated so that they don't discolor during the beginning of the cooking.
Place green beans in the center of a large piece of heavy-duty foil (or double up the foil if not using heavy-duty). Season beans with salt and pepper. Top with butter.
Seal green beans tightly. Place packet on top of the pork and potatoes. (If you prefer your green beans a little on the crisper side, you can wait to add them during the final couple of hours of cooking.)
Cook on low for 6 - 8 hours ... or until pork is easily shredded with a fork and potatoes are fork-tender. (Mine was done between the six and seven-hour mark, so I turned it to warm for the last hour until we were ready to have dinner.)