Maple syrup glazed pork

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Valentine’s day is almost here…So we will need to cook to impress…

We have to cook something that we do not make often so it will be memorable.

With mass hysteria still rampant, shopping is a chore, so super-exotic ingredients are out. That got me thinking about pork….and I can’t think about pork without thinking about bacon.  Since this dinner will be a fancy one, we will use pork tenderloin. Since I’m still thinking about bacon and thus by default, breakfast; let’s do a maple syrup glazed pork tenderloin wrapped in bacon! 

It will be a super-rich but very nuanced dish that will be sure to impress.  We will serve it with a bourbon pan jus (because I need a drink after 2020).  This is a great dish to serve with green beans almandine (green beans with almonds for those who do not parlez vous).  I would make this dish in a cast iron skillet.  Why?  It works great and is romantic.

So, let’s get started

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 trimmed pork tenderloin.  Look for a strong pink colour & the muscle body that is uniform
  • ½ pound trimmed French green beans.
  • 2 tablespoons blanched and thinly sliced almonds
  • Plugra, Kerrygold or another European style churned butter
  • 4# package of applewood smoked bacon
  • 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard
  • ½ cup of real Vermont maple syrup (I like grade A amber)
  • Fresh cracked (coarsely ground black peppercorn) & salt
  • 2 cloves of peeled garlic thinly sliced.
  • 2 finely diced shallots
  • 4-5 ounces good quality bourbon (I’m a Basil Hayden guy).
  • Splash of fresh lemon juice

To COOK:

Set oven to 300 degrees and pre-heat for 15 min.

In the meantime, mix ½ ounce bourbon, Dijon mustard & the maple syrup in a small fry Pan until incorporated over medium low heat.  Season the mustard-bourbon-maple syrup glaze with generous amount of cracked black pepper & salt.  Turn off heat and let cool slightly.

Season the pork tenderloins all the way around with salt & pepper and sear in a hot cast iron skillet with a little oil (or bacon fat from breakfast) until it is golden brown.  Transfer to a baking sheet and put in the oven until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the pork is 110 – 120 degrees (about 8-10 minutes).  Take it out of the oven and put the pork tenderloin on a plate and set aside.  Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees.

Arrange bacon slices on a 12” x 12” sheet of plastic wrap so the bacon strips overlap top to bottom so you get a 6” x 8” sheet of bacon.   Generously ‘paint’ both the bacon and the pork tenderloin with the mustard-bourbon-maple syrup glaze.  Put the semi-cooked pork tenderloin on the edge of the bacon sheet and roll together while peeling away the plastic wrap so the tenderloin is completely covered in bacon.  With the bacon sheet seam side down, season the wrapped pork tenderloin with salt & pepper.  After both the tenderloins are done, put them seam side down on a plate in the refrigerator of 15 minutes to set the bacon wrapping.  After 15 minutes put the bacon wrapped pork tenderloin in a wiped clean cast iron skillet and put in to the hot oven until the internal temperature is between 135 – 145 degrees and the bacon is crisp. Pull out of the oven and with tongs remove the pork tenderloin carefully to a plate to rest.  Shut off the oven. Add 1 tablespoon of butter in the cast iron pan and put it on a medium heat stove. Add the sliced garlic, diced shallots & blanched almonds to the skillet.  Sautee the garlic/onion/almond until slightly translucent and the almonds are getting lightly toasted. Add roughly 3 ounces of bourbon to the skillet and drink any remaining not used as you deserve it. At this point add all the green beans to the skillet and another tablespoon of butter, the rest of the mustard-bourbon-maple syrup glaze if any left & a splash of lemon juice.  Adjust salt & pepper to taste if needed.  Stir the green beans mixture until crisp but tender.  

To PLATE: With a serrated knife cut the pork tenderloin into ¾ inch – 1 inch slices and put in the center of the plate.  Divide the green bean mixture on top of each tenderloin and pour the ‘sauce’ in the pan between the two dishes.

And BOOM!  Quite an achievement.

Enjoy.

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