Pork tenderloin doesn’t get as much attention as it should. I am also guilty as charged, I rather enjoy a leaner piece of meat than a fat dripping pork belly -uh- makes my stomach sick and sits in my belly heavy like a stone. But I used to prefer chicken breast or turkey burger and omit the pork tenderloin. Not on purpose and then again yes, no excuses. I think I had just too much of those overcooked and dry shoe soles, best case scenario served with a thick sauce or garlic butter. Beside being extra lean, pork tenderloin is also very versatile and used in many kitchens all over the world and doesn’t have to be dry and though at all and proof is this recipe for spicy marinated pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon.
During my recent trip to Germany my mom made some pork tenderloin on the grill and she quickly disabused me and I enjoyed to be taught otherwise. Unfortunately my mom is an instinctive cook: no rules, no recipes, but for sure good food. When I asked her about the spices she used, she couldn’t even tell anymore. Fine I can improvise too, guess who taught me.
The marinate will also work magic with another cut of pork or even beef. It’s a nice tanginess with just a hint of sweetness from the honey. You can also get a fair hint of garlic, add as much as you like, that’s up to you. The herbs are not just there to look nice, they merge so well with the other spices. Although my mom skipped the bacon wrapping, I was eager to give it a try. Everything is better with bacon, right? Right!I had a fairly romantic imagination of wrapping the bacon around the pork tenderloins, in my dreams more similar to gift wrapping at Christmas time. No kidding it’s messy, get yourself a second pair of hands and you will be fine for sure.
- for the marinade:
- ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ½ tsp. ground fennel seeds
- 5 stalks of parsley, finely chopped
- 4 stalks of cilantro, finely chopped
- 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 Tbsp. honey
- 3 Tbsp. soy sauce
- ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pound)
- 2 pork tenderloins (about 1 pound each), trimmed
- 10 slices of bacon
- butcher twine
- Combine all ingredients for the marinade. Rub the marinade into the pork tenderloin. Wrap five slices of bacon evenly around each of the tenderloin and tie the bacon in place with kitchen twine. Cover with plastic foil and let marinade for at least one hour in your refrigerator.
- Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before you want to start cooking to let the meat come to room temperature.
- Heat your grill to 550 F and grill each side of the tenderloins for 45-60 seconds. Watch out for flare-ups, move the tenderloin out of the way to prevent your food from burning.
- Reduce the heat and continue cooking indirect low heat 200-250 F for 40 minutes until the temperature on the thickest parts reach 145 F.
- Transfer tenderloins to a cutting board and let stand 10 minutes. Remove twine before carving.
- This can be made easily inside: Preheat your oven to 200-250 F. Heat one Tbsp. oil in a large pan over high heat and sear the tenderloin until brown form each side. Transfer to the oven and continue cooking until a thermometer inserted in the thickest part shows 145 F, should also take approx.. 40 minutes.