The official title of this recipe is bacon wrapped pork loin with apples & sage. Personally, I like the idea of pig wrapped pig better. Besides, isn’t everything better when it is wrapped in bacon?
Then of course there is the small technicality that the original recipe uses pork loin in the title, but pork tenderloin in the recipe. Semantics yes, but a different cut of meat. Now that we have made the recipe, you could safely use either.
Speaking of the original recipe, this bacony, apple-iscious delight is from the Autumn issue of the LCBO’s Food & Drink magazine. For those who aren’t lucky enough to live in Ontario, those of us who do anxiously await each new issue of the mag. Many foodies feel it is one of the best entertaining mags published anywhere. Here at FAB, we tend to agree.
Before I share Marilyn Bentz-Crowley’s recipe with you, I have a few notes about our preparation.
First off, I don’t care how experienced you are in the kitchen, you should actually read the recipe! I don’t usually read the whole thing, as I would rather create my own interpretation but in this case I missed an important presentation detail. Read the recipe and then look at my photos. Can you see what I missed?
Freshness counts when making a meal and that means using as much local or home grown stuff as possible. We had a bowl full of Niagara apples on the kitchen table, so I used those rather than some of the hundred or so hanging on the tree. We have a wonderful sage plant in the garden, so the soft fuzzy green stuff came straight from the source.
I added a step by laying down a sheet of wax paper before laying out the bacon. Not only does this prevent the bacon from sticking to the cutting board, but it also makes the wrapping process a bit easier. Another tip with the bacon is to ensure it is cold before you begin. This will keep the fat firm and give you something to work with. The heat of your hands will soften the pig up enough as it is.
Enough out of me. Now, reprinted without permission from Food & Drink is Pig wrapped Pig.
Choose bacon well-streaked with lean meat as well as fat and purchase it from the butcher’s case, as it tends not to be as watery as the bacon in the 500 g packages. For incredible flavour, seek out a dedicated butcher shop, such as Kingston’s Brothers Quality Meats, which smokes bacon on the premises.
2 large pork tenderloins,
total about 2 lbs (about 1 kg)
10 fresh sage leaves, very finely chopped,
or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried rubbed sage
2 to 3 large garlic cloves, minced
¼ tsp (1 mL) salt
¼ tsp (1 mL) freshly ground
9 to 10 slices thick-cut bacon
3 to 4 large apples such as
Cortland or Spy
1 large cooking onion
2 tbsp (25 mL) all-purpose flour
1½ cups (375 mL) chicken broth or stock
1. If any silver skin on loins is present, cut away and discard. Sprinkle sage, garlic, salt and pepper all over loins. Place loins closely together lengthwise, with thick ends meeting thin ends, to even out roast thickness.
2. Lay out slices of bacon snugly together on a cutting board, forming a rectangle. Place loins across bacon so bacon ends emerge from each side. Beginning at one end, lift a bacon end up over loins at a 45° angle. Then, alternating sides, continue lifting bacon ends down the length of roast forming a chevron pattern of bacon on top.
3. Cut five 12-inch (30-cm) lengths of twine and one 30-inch (75-cm) length. Place 5 shorter lengths of twine under loins widthwise. Working out from roast centre, firmly (but not causing deep indents to form) tie up each piece of twine, spacing evenly apart. Then tie up roast lengthwise with longer piece of twine. Trim twine ends; discard. (Roast can be prepared, covered and refrigerated for up to half a day. Add 10 to 15 minutes to roasting time.)
4. When ready to roast, preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Heat a large frying pan over medium heat. Lightly brown roast on all sides, about 15 minutes in total. Transfer to a baking pan lined with a rack. Place in oven; set time for 30 minutes. Check and continue roasting until a meat thermometer reads 145°F (63°C). Remove from oven: transfer to cutting board. Cover roast with foil; let rest 15 to 20 minutes.
5. Meanwhile, peel core and slice apples. Thinly slice onion.
6. Drain most of fat from frying pan; place back over medium heat. Add onion; cook 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Stir in flour; cook 1 minute. Stir in chicken broth; add apple slices. Bring to a boil; simmer, covered, 5 to 10 minutes or until apples are tender and sauce is lightly thickened. Add more broth if too thick; keep covered and hot.
7. To slice pork roast, snip off lengthwise string. Then slice about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick, removing crosswise strings as they are encountered. Place a few saucy apples on each warm serving plate, top with a couple of slices of roast and drizzle with more sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes and a steamed julienne of carrot and kohlrabi.
Serves 6 to 8
The original recipe is here. The Food & Drink site has an archive full of recipes dating back to 1994, including many of our faves here in the FAB Whitby kitchen.