Servings: 8 Prep: 30 mins Cook: 45 mins Total: 1 hr 30 mins
This one is a little embarrassing. Now, keep in mind that this was perfectly cooked, tender and full of flavor, but I’m embarrassed by its overall color.
I am currently staying in a rental house. As with any rental, you get what you get. You can’t control certain things. I remember being very excited by this house when I first say it and specifically signed the lease because of the gas stove and oven. I truly felt I’d stumbled into a the perfect bloggers kitchen!
Then, I used the stove. It’s weak. And cheap. It’s as if the pipe going from the propane tank to the stove is as thick as a very narrow strand of hair. It emits heat roughly equivalent to a Bic lighter. When I preheat a pan, I let it sit on the burner for a good 5 minutes before I but anything in it, otherwise it more just steams and festers, rather than pan-frying like a good pan should do. I’ve grown accustomed to the weak gas line and know tricks to get around most of the issues, but… browning things in the oven can be a challenge. I’d estimate that HIGH is about 300 F (149 C), which is enough to cook a nice roast (and keep it nice and moist on the inside), but with no broil option and no way to get any extra heat… my roasts often come out looking like (I fully apologize in advance for the following description, but it’s what I see!)… a naked baby piglet. There’s just a pink pastiness to it that’s a shade unsettling.
It’s tasty, though!
So, now that I’ve revealed my frustrating kitchen situation and forever ruined the visual element of this lovely little dish, let me try and sell you on the flavors!
This is two pork tenderloins (like pork filet mignon), split lengthwise (butterfly-style), and opened up like a book. Both sides were seasoned with salt and pepper. Then, they were laid, side-by-side, on a lattice patterned sheet of bacon. From there, they were stuffed with freshly cooked spinach, slices of raw sweet d’anjou pears and a small mountain of parmesan cheese. This was rolled together into a nice consistent cylinder, then roasted!
Note: Here’s a video showing how to create a bacon weave. Also, here are two photos showing what the stuffing looks like, before rolled…
The end result was a (mostly) beautiful pork tenderloin roast! I personally have no problem with bacon that isn’t super crispy. The salt and smoke still contribute nice flavors. The fat also helps add moisture, as does the cooking to a proper temperature. So often pork is overcooked due to outdated fears of trichinosis. The USDA actually lowered the recommended internal temperature for pork, about 5 years ago. It used to be 160 F (71 C), but they dropped it to 145 F (63 C). This makes for a far more pleasant meal! And, it’s actually even a bit better than that! If you take it to 136 F (58 C) and the internal temperature stays at least that warm for 3 minutes, it’s also fine. Below this line in the sand, it starts to get a bit challenging. For example, the USDA allows pork to be cooked and served at just 120 F (49 C), but they require it be held at that temperature for 21 hours. This, I assume, is for sous-vide cooking.
Anywhoo… The lesson here is that a medium-level pork is safe and delicious! The cheese also helps with the fat and gives a bit more salt. The pear is like perfumed little sweet nibblets of goodness. The spinach is there to add color and a nice nutritional burst! Pasty or not, once this is sliced up, it’s phenomenally delicious. It’s completely worth it, even in the slowest and lowest of ovens.
I think next time… I’m going to use my smoker for this.
Photo Note: Recipe served with Winter Squash Griddlecakes, Drunken Cabbage and Orange-Cranberry Goo.
Pasty Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Pears, Spinach and ParmesanPrint Rate
- 1 lb raw bacon
- 2 each pork tenderloins(or equivalent weight pork loin)
- 2 mediuam d'Anjou Pears
- 1 lb fresh spinach leaves washed and stems removed
- 2 cups grated parmesan cheese
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- salt and pepper to taste
- Pre-heat oven to 425 F (218 C).
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. This will be used to cook the spinach. You will also need a bowl of ice water.
- While waiting for the water to boil, lay out your bacon in a lattice pattern, like in the video linked in the recipe notes. Typically, a pound of standard cut bacon will have about 16 slices (1 oz. [28g] each). This suggests you’ll want 8 going each direction. As I’m doing this, I stretch the horizontal slices, just to make sure the bacon weave is wide enough to accommodate the rolled length of my tenderloins.
- Cut each tenderloin ALMOST in half, as if they’re books. Cut them in half, but leave something like the spine of a book in place. Open the tenderloins so that they are flat. Season both sides with a bit of salt and pepper.
- The tenderloins will be thinner at one end, than the other (like Christmas tree shapes). Lay one tenderloin down so that one line follows the bottom of the bacon weave. Next, lay the second tenderloin next to the first, but with the narrower tip on the opposing side. This should result in something like a pork rectangle.
- By now, hopefully your salted water is boiling. Add your spinach to the boiling water and stir it for about 30 seconds, or until cooked through. Remove the spinach and plunge into a big bowl of ice water. Once the spinach is thoroughly chilled, squeeze all the water from it. This can be done with your hands, but also with a clean dish-towel. Just place the spinach in the center of the towel, then grab the 4 corners, place them together and then twist and twist, until all the water has been removed from the spinach. When it’s done, you will have something resembling a small green baseball made from spinach.
- Break apart the spinach ball and evenly distribute over the top of the pork.
- Next, slice the pear into strips. Line the spinach with the pear slices. Season the pear with a little salt and pepper.
- Cover the pear with the parmesan cheese and rosemary leaves.
- Roll the pork tenderloins together, like a big cinnamon roll. The bacon should completely wrap the pork. Keep the bacon seam side down. Lift the whole roast and place on parchment or foil wrapped cookie pan with a rim. Bake at 425 F (218 C) for about 25 minutes, or until the internal temperature is about 130 F (55 C). At this point, if your pork is a little on the pasty side, turn on the broiler and broil for about 3 to 5 minutes, to try and get a nicer crispier golden hue on the bacon.
- Once the internal temperature hits 135 F (57 C), turn the oven to low. Within a few minutes, the pork will hit 136 F. At that point, wait 3 minutes, then remove it from the oven. Allow it to rest in a warm spot, covered under a foil tent, for about 10 to 15 minutes. It should be PERFECT at this point. Slice and serve!
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1 thought on “Pasty Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin Stuffed with Pears, Spinach and Parmesan”
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