Basically anything wrapped in bacon is going to be pretty okay. But this pork tenderloin rubbed in salt and spices, wrapped in bacon and smothered in barbecue sauce is many times more than okay. It looks pretty impressive even in an unbaked state, if your significant other happens to wander by wondering what’s for dinner, as mine did. His eyes lit up.
As a complete side ramble, since I’m noticing the background of this next picture, I had some pitas I had mistakenly bought thinking they were pizza crusts, and they reminded me of an amazing Greek pita I used to order to go with my margaritas at the restaurant from which I could watch Carl play beach volleyball back in the good ol’ days. If you happen to love Greek salad (sans olives, please), I highly recommend stuffing it in a lightly-toasted pita and putting it beside this pork or some good grilled chicken.
I’ve made this bacon-wrapped pork weekly since discovering it about a month ago, and had not a single complaint. Also, “made this weekly” is a phrase I use loosely, since after loving it the first time pork tenderloin conveniently went on sale, so I mass produced enough for a freezer stash which meant I didn’t really have to “make” them again. So, restaurant-quality deliciousness and freezer friendly. Need I go on?
I’ve made these for guests three times (!) and told a few of my favourite people that they neeeed to make them, so you all need to know about them too :)
- 2 medium pork tenderloins (about 3 lbs total), each cut crosswise into 3-4 pieces, depending on size of tenderloin and desired portion size.
- ¼ cup packed brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp paprika
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 12-16 slices of bacon (1 375 pkg)
- 1 cup barbecue sauce
- Lightly grease a 9x13" baking dish and keep it handy. Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar and spices. Dip pork pieces into spice mixture, coating all sides and rubbing it in a bit with your hands like a mini pig massage :) Place pieces in baking dish in between.
- Once all are coated, wrap pork pieces in strips of bacon (1-2 per portion), stretching bacon slightly to keep it snug, and tucking the ends underneath before placing back in the baking dish. Once all are wrapped, spread barbecue sauce evenly over the tops with a spoon.
- You can wrap the pieces individually in foil at this point to freeze, OR bake in preheated oven for 1 - 1.5 hours, until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees Fahrenheit. I found mine were done in an hour every time, but I cut my pork into 4 smaller portions to suit our family's needs. If your pieces are quite large, stick with 1.5 hours.
- To crisp the bacon, Broil on HIGH for the last 3 minutes of cooking time.
- Remove from oven and let rest 5 minutes before enjoying.
Adapted from Seriously Good Freezer Meals, by Karrie Truman. If you haven’t bought this book or requested it from the library yet, what are you waiting for?! It’s so good.