Monday, November 18, 2019

Orange Pork with Parsnips from Maya Corrigan #Thanksgiving

This easy recipe works well in the week or so before Thanksgiving. If you're like me, you avoid poultry as Thanksgiving nears, knowing turkey and its leftovers are on the horizon. I like this recipe because it makes a quick and easy weekday meal as well as a dinner party dish.

Ever since I started writing the Five-Ingredients Mysteries (5 suspects, 5 clues, and 5-ingredient recipes), friends and family have found perfect gifts for me—five-ingredient cookbooks and magazines. I now have a whole shelf of them. This is how a recipe from one of those books (Robin Takes 5 by Robin Miller) morphed into the one I’m sharing today as I experimented with variations on it. By the time I was finished, I’d changed four of the five ingredients—the cut of meat, the vegetable, the amount of marmalade, and the type of onions. The only ingredient that’s the same is one teaspoon of dried thyme. I also changed the order of cooking the ingredients. Bottom line: this is a different recipe.

The ingredients in the original recipe included boneless pork chops, frozen pearl onions, and zucchini. My first changes were to use fresh chopped onions and pork tenderloin. It was a good dish, but I thought parsnips, with their sweet and nutty flavor, might improve it. So I tried that and also cut down on the marmalade. The results got rave reviews. I then experimented with making the recipe with chicken instead of pork. Definitely not as flavorful. I’ve since tried the pork dish with different types of marmalade and have found marmalade made with sugar, rather than other sweeteners, gives the best results.


1 1/4 pounds of pork tenderloin, cut crosswise into 1-inch thick slices. For faster cooking, pound the slices with a meat mallet until they are half as thick.
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 cups of parsnip rounds or cubed parsnip pieces about 1/2 inch on a side
1/2 cup orange marmalade, made with sugar
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Olive oil to coat the skillet

1 teaspoon dried thyme
Olive oil to coat the skillet
Heat a teaspoon of oil in a 10-inch skillet at medium heat. Sauté the onions until they turn translucent. Add the parsnips and cook until slightly softened. Set aside the onions and parsnips.

Wipe out the skillet and heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in it. When the skillet is hot, but before the oil starts smoking, add the pork slices, and sear them for 1 to 2 minutes (until they brown). Flip the pork slices over and and sear them on the other side.

Combine the marmalade and thyme and add them, along with the onions and parsnips, to the skillet. Simmer for 3 to 5 minutes until the pork and the parsnips are tender.

This recipe serves 4. If you double it for a larger group, you will need to sear the meat in two batches. 

Serve the pork with white or wild rice.   

Pork and parsnips served with saffron rice and peas

This recipe appears in Crypt Suzette, the latest Five-Ingredient Mystery.



  1. Looks delicious! Love parsnips in fall/winter dishes so always looking for new ideas

  2. Thanks for your comment. I love parsnips too and use them as a substitute for potatoes, which have twice as many calories. And parsnips don't need the kind of flavor boosters, like butter and sour cream, that usually go with potatoes.

  3. Great timing. I'm cooking boneless pork chops for company next weekend and this sounds like a great way to flavor them.