Friday, March 2, 2012

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Gravy

I made the most flavorful pork tenderloin.  I feel like I hit the jackpot on this one.  It's a no-brainer really unless you don't like bacon. But for my family, if not for health issues, we could eat bacon every day.  I've had a few flops with pork tenderloin.  Because it is a very lean piece of meat it is a little tricky for roasting.  Overcook it and it gets too dry.  I don't like dry meat!

So I experimented on wrapping it with bacon.  Not only does it add flavor to the meat but it also keeps it moist.  Think about that bacon fat dripping on the roast for a moment.  Convinced?

Oh yeah, I  found out at the last minute I needed kitchen twine.  I didn't have one so I improvised and put my brain to work.  It turns out interlacing the bacon does the trick.  Just make sure you are working with thin-cut bacon strips.  I used good old Farmer John's bacon in this roast.

Then because I was a little skeptical that it might come out dry I made gravy out of the pan juices.  It wasn't necessary but it did kick it up a notch.  In fact, when I had the left overs for lunch the next day I found out it was soooo good with rice!  

Here's how I did it.

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Gravy

For the Roast
1 pork tenderloin (about 1.5 pounds), cut in half crosswise
6 thin-cut bacon strips
1 garlic head
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
8 sage leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon grape seed or canola oil
Sea Salt and pepper to taste

For the gravy
1/2 cup apple cider (or dry white wine)
1/2 cup chicken broth
2 teaspoons flour

Preheat oven to 375°F

Cut garlic in half (crosswise) and place in a small microwave safe bowl.  Drizzle with the olive oil and a little salt.  Microwave until soft about 2 - 3 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, squeeze the flesh out from the head into a mortar and pestle.   Add the rosemary, then mash with the garlic.

Pat dry each tenderloin pieces with paper towels then rub with the garlic mixture.  Season with salt and pepper. 

Place sage leaves on top of tenderloin, about 2 on each side.  Wrap with bacon, overlapping and interweaving the end of one strip with  another.

In an oven proof skillet, heat a drizzle of grape seed or canola oil (or any oil with high smoke point) over medium high heat.  Brown the meat on all sides, turning carefully, about 2 minutes on each side.

Place skillet with the roasts in the oven and cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until cooked to desired doneness.  I cook mine to an internal temperature of 145°F.  Transfer roast to a platter and let it rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

While the meat rests make gravy.  This is optional but adding gravy is a nice touch to the dish.  Drain all but about 1 tablespoon of oil from the skillet, making sure not to discard the brown pieces at the bottom.  Place skillet on the stove top over low heat.  Add cider and deglaze the pan, scrapping all the browned bits at the bottom using a wooden spoon.  Whisk in the flour with the chicken broth and add into the pan.  Let it cook 1-2 minutes stirring constantly until sauce is thickened.

Slice tenderloin into medallions.  Serve with gravy.

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