Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bacon-Herb Wrapped Pork Tenderloin

With a head of red cabbage from our weekly farmbox and some bacon in the fridge, I set out on the Internet to find a new recipe for pork tenderloin recently (because nothing goes better with cabbage and pig than more pig). Chef Bobby Flay was kind enough to post his own bacon-herb wrapped pork tenderloin recipe online for the masses and it sounded delicious and doable enough for me to try. Step 1 involves roasting a whole head of garlic until it becomes spreadable like warm butter. The recipe advises about 45 minutes to do this; however, after that amount of time, my garlic head was merely soft, not paste-like. Unfortunately, I had gotten myself in a bit of a time crunch and couldn't really afford to roast the garlic for another 15 minutes, so I had to make do with what I had. Following along, I rubbed my mushy garlic cloves on my two pork tenderloins, placed my mixture of thyme, rosemary, and sage on top, laid 3 strips of bacon atop the herbs (the recipe calls for 6 strips to be wrapped all around the meat, although I couldn't quite figure out how to do this on the bottom half without everything coming apart during assembly), and tied the bacon down somewhat-securely with twine. Next, the tenderloins are supposed to be seared on all sides using a hot skillet - sadly, I didn't have a large-enough vessel to brown them simultaneously, so I seared them one at a time only on 2 sides (time crunch again), then cooked them in the oven a little longer than prescribed (about 25 minutes instead of the listed 10).

The final result is in the photo at the top. They didn't look bad and they tasted pretty good, leading me to wonder how good they could have actually been had I not taken shortcuts with the garlic and the bacon and the browning. If nothing else, I learned that this recipe is not ideal for weeknights, but better for weekends when I might have a little more time to deliver the goods properly...

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