Pork tenderloin with leeks is a rustic Greek recipe known as hirino me praso
Πρασοτηγανιά. Recently, a dear friend lost their father. At the funeral home, which was filled with people who had known him and loved him, there was a continuous slideshow displaying photos that recalled special moments of his life. These special moments were remarkable in that they were not really special at all. Sure, there were a few wedding and baptism photos, but the majority were taken during the simple everyday. An immigrant to Canada from Greece, his life through pictures was reminiscent of so many others; a central theme was family, and friends who were like family. In almost every grainy, faded photograph, there were people smiling, laughing, posing or caught mid-sentence. There were bell bottoms and sideburns and beehive hairdos and familiar faces that were so much younger than those we now saw sitting in the funeral parlour.
Although we were not in these photos, they were so familiar. The scenes that were captured were ones we had witnessed as children growing up in an immigrant household, and a community that was close-knit and loving. Ironically, we still consider that these were carefree days, despite knowing better now. Our parents worked so hard, struggled in a place where the language, the culture, and even the weather was foreign. Their friends and family, facing the same challenges, were a connection to what they knew, and to security. Remembering them, and seeing the pictures of others, gathered around plastic covered tables, enjoying each others company, warms our hearts. Our parents, our aunts, our uncles, our friends, as the younger versions of themselves are beautiful to remember.
But what does any of this have to do with pork with leeks, called hirino me praso in Greek, or prasotigania. Maybe nothing, or maybe everything. If you look carefully through our old family photographs the other thing you will notice is that when people were seated around a table, that table was filled with food. The beautiful thing to notice however was how simple the food was. This was a generation that was busy – busy working, busy keeping the house in order, and busy making sure that there was time devoted to relationships with family and friends. When food was offered (and food often was) it was preferable to have it be quick, easy and delicious. Recipes like this rustic Greek dish of pork with leeks were perfect. This is such a nostalgic dish for us. In fact, when we make this recipe now, we tend to serve it on a platter accompanied by several forks and glasses of ouzo, and wait for the guests to arrive.
How to cook pork tenderloin so that it does not dry out
We love pork tenderloin because it is a lean cut of meat that is full of flavour. It is our preferred cut of pork for making pork souvlaki, and other recipes like our pork tenderloin and rice. Cooking pork tenderloin however so that it does not dry out is really important; the fact that it is so lean means that overcooking it can lead to dry meat. The best way to ensure that your pork is cooked exactly right is to use a meat thermometer; pork tenderloin is done and safe to eat when the internal temperature reads at 145 degrees Fahrenheit. In this recipe for pork with leeks, or hirino me praso, the cooking time needed to reach this internal temperature will vary slightly with the size of your meat cubes.
What is the difference between leeks and onions?
Both leeks and onions are part of the Alliums family but they are different species. Although they look like large green onions, leeks have a much more delicate flavour than onions do. They also take longer to soften when being cooked.
Are leeks good for you?
They actually are! Leeks are a good source of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and vitamin K, and they are also a very good source of vitamin A.
How to serve pork with leeks (hirino me praso)
Although you can certainly serve pork with leeks as part of a main meal (it goes great with some rice and a green like broccoli or vlita) we prefer to serve it as a meze or appetizer. When you have guests over, consider serving an array of mezedes, like pork with leeks and other items like marinated feta, spanakopita and chickpea fritters. Add some amazing Greek cheeses and some marinated olives, and celebrate friendships deliciously.
Love pork with leeks (hirino me praso)? Try these pork recipes too:
We love hearing from you! If you have made our recipes, or if you have a question or comment, or simply want to say Hi!, please leave a comment and star rating below! Also be sure to follow along with us, on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. We have lots of fun over there.
This post may contain some affiliate links, which means that we make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you.
Pork with leeks (Hirino me praso)
- 1 large skillet
- 650 grams pork tenderloin, cubed
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 leeks
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 1½ tsp dry oregano
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- Prepare your leeks by cutting off the dark green parts and the tips - discard these. Take the white part of your leeks and cut them in half, lengthwise. Rinse them well under cool running water and then chop them up.2 leeks
- Place the chopped white part of your leeks in a deep skillet along with the olive oil. Cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, stirring regularly so that your leeks don't burn.⅓ cup olive oil
- Add in the pork and cook over medium heat for 7 minutes; your pork should get browned on some sides.650 grams pork tenderloin, cubed
- Next add the oregano, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover your pan and cook over medium low heat for approximately 4-5 minutes, or until the pork is cooked through. Internal temperature should be at least 145°.¼ cup fresh lemon juice, 1½ tsp dry oregano, 1 tsp salt, ½ tsp pepper