Mmm. Taking pork to a new level of delicious yumminess. Showy enough for Valentine’s Day or Easter but easy enough to make often! This bacon-wrapped garlic-herb pork tenderloin is so decadent!
I know, I know — it’s like having “pork with your pork” — but it’s using the fat from the bacon to keep the lean tenderloin from drying out. And all that flavor — Oh, my!
This recipe starts with one pound of pork tenderloin.
You’ll make a paste of the herbs and seasonings, press it onto the tenderloin, then wrap bacon around that. The paste stays on the pork surprisingly well while you are wrapping the bacon around. I use kitchen gloves to keep my hands from smelling like garlic all day.
The vegetables just have a little drizzling of balsamic vinegar so they don’t compete with the flavors of the garlic-herbed tenderloin. Certainly you can use more vinegar than suggested here.
Note that if you used the more common brown balsamic vinegar rather than the white, it will give a browner look to the vegetables and the pan drippings. It still looks great! You could vary the vegetables, too, as long as you use those that will cook in 15-20 minutes.
The recipe has one step in which you remove the pan from the oven to spoon away excess fat and add the vegetables and then put it back in as fast as possible. It will feel like a little aerobic workout at the stove. It’s so worth it!
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The melt-in-your-mouth texture of the tenderloin and the savory blend of the tarragon, garlic and capers will get you rave reviews. My taste-testers pronounced it restaurant-good. One added that the little tomatoes made the other flavors really pop!
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If you have a chance to try this recipe, please leave me a comment so that I know how it went!
Bacon-Wrapped Garlic-Herb Pork Tenderloin
- 1 pound pork tenderloin
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/4 cup fresh tarragon stems removed and chopped
- 1 tbsp capers minced
- 1 tsp ground fennel seed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6 slices thin paleo bacon each cut in half
- 1 bunch asparagus
- 10 or more cherry tomatoes, very thin part of tops sliced off
- Salt and pepper to taste about 1/4 teaspoon each
- 2 tablespoons white balsamic vinegar brown can be used too!
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F (unless you plan to make this in advance and refrigerate it - then you will preheat the oven later).
- Combine the minced garlic, tarragon, salt, pepper, fennel, capers and olive oil until the mixture forms a paste. I like to chop everything but the oil together on a cutting board, then mix it all in a small bowl. Press this mixture onto the tenderloin.
- Wrap bacon around the herbed tenderloin, doing your best to keep the paste inside the bacon wrap. At this point you can cover and refrigerate, up to several hours, or bake right away.
- If you have refrigerated the pork tenderloin, remove it from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. (About 20 minutes into that, preheat the oven).
- Transfer to the oven and roast 15-20 minutes (depending on the thickness of the tenderloin) until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part reads 130 degrees F.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
- Remove pan from the oven. As quickly as possible, spoon off any excess bacon grease and place asparagus and tomatoes in the baking dish. Sprinkle the vegetables with the salt and pepper. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the vegetables.
- Return the baking dish to the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes more until the meat thermometer registers 155 degrees F and the tomatoes are starting to puff up.
- Turn on broiler to high, and broil for 5 minutes to crisp the bacon.
- Remove baking dish from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Cut the tenderloin into 3/4" slices and spoon the pan drippings over the meat. Serve with tomatoes and asparagus.
- Great with roasted sweet potatoes, small roasted new potatoes or a fresh salad.
- Times may vary depending on how thick your pork tenderloin is; and higher times are needed at high altitude.
- Tarragon can be hard to find, but the anise-y flavor is such a great combination with the capers. If you can’t find tarragon, rosemary works well too.
- We used thinner-sliced bacon to be sure it would cook at the same time as the tenderloin; and one that had no sugar.
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