This is one of my hubby’s favorite dishes. I’m not gonna lie – we’re pig fans. I love bacon and we both enjoy pork loin/chops/roast, etc. If you’ve had meat wrapped in bacon before, then you may have experienced soft bacon. It always seems underdone to me. I like my bacon crisp but you can’t exactly wrap a crisp piece of bacon around a tenderloin, can you? This is what I do to help fix that.
(This is a one pan dish for me because I have pans that can go directly from the stove top to the oven. I love that. I’ve written this out as a one dish recipe – if your pan can’t go from stove top to oven, then you’ll have to switch out pans.)
Bacon Tenderloin (serves 4 – 6)
Pork Tenderloin. I use a plain tenderloin but I guess this would work with the pre-seasoned ones. The tenderloin I get is usually cut in half, so you get two pieces in a package. You’ll use one piece for this and freeze the other.
Bacon. Enough to wrap the tenderloin – one package should work, but you can use more.
Spices. Whatever you like. Bacon is salty, so you probably won’t need any salt. Spices like Rosemary, Oregano, Basil, Thyme, & Parsley all work well with this. I have a dry “Italian” spice mix that we like. I usually use it and then add some rosemary, basil, & pepper (fresh ground).
Stock. Chicken or veggie. This is for basting and roasting. I don’t measure.
Veggies (optional). This pot roast veggies (carrots, potatoes, etc). You’ll want to chop them up into fairly uniform sizes. Recently I made a roast with carrots, (frozen) green beans, and (frozen) cauliflower (it was a use what you got night) & the veggie mix was DELICIOUS with the roast. I mean really, really, really delicious. If you don’t have a pan large enough for the loin and veggies, no sweat. You can cook veggies separate. The first time I made this I served it on a bed of mashed potatoes with wilted spinach on the side.
Here we go!!!
1) Pre-heat the oven to 400 & put your empty pan on the stove (stove on) to start heating up. (If you think Step 2 will take a while, then leave the stove on low – you can turn it up once you’re ready for Step 2 and wait until it’s hot enough.)
2) Wrap the tenderloin with bacon. The raw meats stick together pretty well. I don’t find it necessary to use toothpicks or anything to hold the bacon onto the tenderloin.
3) Place the wrapped tenderloin into a HOT pan on the stove. The goal here is to sear the entire loin. This will help crisp up the bacon, too. Don’t worry if you get brown bits or little pieces of bacon stuck to the pan. That’s what the stock is for.
4) Once the loin is seared on all sides (and the bacon is browned), place it on a plate for holding.
5) Add stock to the hot pan. This is to deglaze the pan. Scrap all those yummy brown bits off the pan and mix with the stock. You can also remove the pan from the heat.
6) If your pan is large enough and you wish to cook veggies with the meat, a la roast, then place the loin back in the pan and add the veggies. If you are only roasting the loin, you may want to reserve some of the pan juices to use while cooking whatever sides you are planning on serving. (The pan juices are excellent when used to flavor mashed potatoes – you add the juices to the potatoes AFTER boiling & draining, along with whatever cream, butter, etc you are using.) **This is the point where you’d put everything (including pan juices not being reserved) in a roasting pan if you can’t put the first pan used into the oven.**
7) Cover the pan and put it in the oven. Let it roast & let the smell permeate your kitchen until you can’t stand it. (In reality – you can uncover it after 20 – 30 min & check it with a meat thermometer. Make sure you are checking in the thickest part of the meat & that the thermometer isn’t touching the pan. I don’t have a meat thermometer, so I go by smell & looks. If it smells good and looks cooked (after a sensible amount of time), then I’ll pull it out, cut into it, & check the color. If it’s not raw, then I turn the oven off and let it sit covered (it will keep cooking a little bit) on the stove top (off) for maybe five to ten minutes before serving. With pork, remember that a light pink color is OK. Dark pink – not so much. If the meat is still too pink when I check it, then I pop it back in the oven for a little while longer. It’s fine to finish or roast this totally uncovered. I’d suggest adding a little extra stock to pan if you’re roasting it uncovered the whole time.
8) Slice, serve, & enjoy!! 🙂