Archived entries for bacon

A trifecta of pork: Bacon-wrapped
pork tenderloin stuffed with
bacon jam

baconpork1

Last year, my sister had clued me in to the wonders of bacon jam. I didn’t get a chance to try it, but fortunately, our friends Michelle and Tuffer brought us some from Seattle last month. Yes, these are people willing to schlep over meat products across the ocean. And for that, I am immensely grateful.

For those of you lucky enough to live in Seattle, bacon jam is available at Skillet Street Food. And luckily for everyone else in the U.S., it is also available for mail order on their website. (Stocking stuffer, perhaps?)

It’s great in the obvious applications: on burgers and sandwiches, and it makes a wicked grilled cheese. But inspiration really hit when I was planning on roasting a couple of pork tenderloin one night… why not stuff it with bacon jam?

So I took it from there. If I stuff it with bacon jam, why not… wrap it in bacon? And thus, we have a Trifecta of Pork.

baconpork2

Bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin stuffed with bacon jam
Serves 4
I make a garlic and balsamic vinegar pan sauce to go with the pork tenderloin. If you prefer something milder, a classic pan sauce with wine and butter would also work great.

Ingredients
2 one-pound pork tenderloins (about 500g each)
½ cup bacon jam
4 strips of your favorite bacon (my favorite is Nueske’s. Wisconsin represent!)

For pan sauce:
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
½ cup stock or water or pan drippings
3 tablespoons butter
Salt to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 C).
  2. Slice the tenderloins through to the middle. Spoon the bacon jam into the middle of it. Wrap the slices of bacon around the tenderloins and tie with a bit of cooking twine if necessary. (This will keep the bacon from unraveling when you cook it.) Sprinkle the outside of the pork with a bit of salt and pepper.
  3. Heat a heavy pan or Dutch oven over high heat. Add a small glug of vegetable oil. Brown the pork loin on all sides. (Don’t clean out the pan afterwards)
  4. Transfer the tenderloins to a roasting dish. Roast until the internal temp is 135 degrees F. (I like it a bit pink inside, let the temp get to 140 if you like it well done. This usually takes me 15 to 20 minutes.)
  5. Take the pork loin out and allow it to rest for 10 minutes
  6. The pan sauce: Take the drippings from the pan and add enough water or stock to it to make a half cup. While the pork is resting, place the pan where you browned the pork over low heat. Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil and the garlic. Scrape up the browned bits from the pan. When the garlic becomes fragrant (careful not to burn it), add the brown sugar and the cayenne pepper. Continue scraping the browned bits from the pan, then immediately add the vinegar. Don’t stir it for a minute while some of the acid boils off.
  7. Add the stock and reduce the sauce by half. Remove from heat and add the butter. Swirl it around to combine, then add salt and pepper to taste.

Links
Skillet Street Food: Bacon Jam
Nueske’s Bacon


Lentils with bacon and mint

lentils

When my mom came to visit last month, she brought one of the best gifts a mom from Wisconsin can give: several pounds of Nueske’s bacon. Oh, you don’t know Nueske’s bacon?

Then, my friend, you have not had bacon. Nueske’s is like, the cream of the bacon crop. The sort of bacon that makes you happy to be a carnivore. I know I’m prone to hyperbole, but really, it’s no joke.

Because I have a large but limited supply every time she visits, I try to stretch it out, and believe me, a little goes a long way. This, combined with my ‘eat-less-meat’ household campaign, and you get lots of bean dishes flavored with bacon.

This is one of my favorites lately. I use French, or Puy, lentils, the little speckled dark green ones. They are really nice for this because they keep their shape better and still look really pretty when cooked, unlike the larger tan ones which fall apart more easily.

Three strips of bacon. That’s all it takes to take this dish from silver to gold.

Lentils with bacon and mint
Ingredients
1 cup French lentils
3 strips of your favorite streaky bacon, diced, preferable Nueske’s, if you can get your greedy hands on it
4 cups water
1 bay leaf
½ medium onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
a handful of mint, chopped finely
a couple of grinds of black pepper

  1. Pick over and rinse the lentils. Place them in a large saucepan or Dutch oven, and cover with the water. Add the bayleaf. Bring the lentils to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.
  2. When the lentils are cooked, drain them in a colander, reserving about a cupful of the liquid. Discard the bay leaf. Set aside the lentils.
  3. Set the saucepan or Dutch oven back over medium heat. When hot, add the bacon. Fry until crispy and brown. (Don’t drain the oil). Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is soft. Add the cumin and fry until fragrant.
  4. Add the lentils and salt and pepper. If the mixture looks dry, stir in some of the reserved liquid. Simmer for another couple minutes.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the mint.
  6. We eat this with rice, but it’s probably also very good with crusty bread.

Links
Nueske’s bacon
Crispywaffle: Tofu with peanut sauce



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