Bacon and pork tenderloin join forces
If you want to see me smile, serve me pork. If you want to see me giggle with glee, make that pork dish a double whammy and add some bacon.
To some, that dual delight may seem like gilding the lily, others may cringe at the high fat and nitrites consumption, but honestly, I wouldn’t eat that porcine combo every day — it’s more like every six months. As I’ve said before, there are no bad foods, only bad habits. So, I keep my health and my weight in check by rewarding myself every so often with lean pork tenderloin wrapped in thick, smoky bacon slices.
Rubbed with roasted garlic and herbs, bound with bacon and topped with cipollini onions and cremini mushrooms, this dish is a February must-have to get you through to spring. Because, even though the days are fewer, it’s still the longest month of the year.
Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Cipollini and Mushrooms
Recipe adapted from Food Network. Recipe can be halved easily. Cipollini are the bittersweet bulbs of the grape hyacinth. They are also called wild onions and you can find them in Meijer and other markets.
1 head garlic, top sliced off
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pork tenderloins (about 1 to 1 1/2 pound each) trimmed of excess fat
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
12 fresh sage leaves
10 (1/4-inch thick) slices bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
10 cipollini onions (can use pearl onions)
1/2 cup red wine
Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
Place garlic in a square of foil, drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, and wrap. Bake until soft, about 45 minutes. When cool enough to handle, squeeze garlic flesh from head into a small bowl.
Arrange tenderloins on work surface. Rub the top each tenderloin with 1/2 of the roasted garlic and season with salt and pepper. Mix together thyme and rosemary and scatter half of the mix over the garlic on each tenderloin. Lay 5 sage leaves on top. Wrap 5 strips of bacon around each tenderloin and tie bacon in place with kitchen twine.
Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the tenderloins until golden brown on all sides. Transfer seared tenderloins to medium roasting pan. Add onions and mushrooms to skillet and let brown slightly. Add wine and stir until it cook down partially. Add onions and mushrooms to pork in the pan; place in the oven and cook to medium doneness, about 10-20 minutes. Transfer tenderloins to cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Remove twine before carving. Serve with onions and mushrooms. Serves 8.
Per serving: 333 calories; 18 g fat (4 g saturated fat; 49 percent calories from fat); 4 g carbohydrates; 1 g sugar; 100 mg cholesterol; 292 mg sodium; 37 g protein; 1 g fiber.