Garlic and Rosemary Roasted Pork Loin

I am a reformed vegetarian.  Let’s just get that out of the way.  I’d say at least 50-70% of my diet is vegetarian (a large portion of which is produce based). But since I rediscovered meat (I try my best to be conscientious of the kind of meat, how it’s raised and fed, etc.), I have had to learn a whole lot.  I mean a lot.  This is a recipe that I never thought I’d cook and moreover  sounded too difficult to add to my repartee.   Well I am always up for a challenge and am here to tell you that I was wrong.  Yes I was.  This is a simple, incredibly tasty dish that you could serve with just about anything.  Salad, grains, vegetables, soup and crusty bread.  I chose Braised Kale and Cinnamon Roasted Roots and Apples.  Yes, it is Paleo. Yes, it is wrapped in bacon.  Here ya go.

Ingredients:

1 pork tenderloin (organic if you can)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 tablespoons rosemary, coarsely minced
1 long sprig rosemary for cooking in pan
2-3 good pinches flake sea salt (any sea salt will do but I like the flakes, such as maldon)
*course ground pepper to liking
1 lemon wedge (I prefer Meyer’s for their sweetness)
2-3 strips all natural smoked bacon, cut in halves
Butcher twine

Start by unwrapping and rinsing your tenderloin.  Set aside. (You can trim the connective tissue if you like, I did not).  Mince garlic, don’t worry if it’s not too finely minced. Add the rosemary and salt to the garlic on your cutting board. Take a butcher’s knife and use the flat part of the blade to mash the three ingredients into a coarse paste.  The garlic will get aromatic and soft, the salt will help crush and hold everything together.

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Take your tenderloin and cut about 1/2 of the way through lengthwise, being sure not to cut all the way.  Take the paste and rub it inside the cut along the length of it.

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Squeeze your lemon over the paste in the tenderloin.  Now take the bacon halves and shimmy them underneath the pork going down the whole length. Use your butcher twine to close up the seam and keep the bacon in place.  The bacon adds some lovely smokiness and since pork tenderloin is fairly lean, it allows for some fat and caramelization.  I let my pork rest like this in the fridge for a couple hours, but if you wanna get going,  preheat oven to 425.

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Place tenderloin in a small pan and add the sprig of rosemary alongside it.  Cook at 425 for 30-35 minutes.  I also placed mine under the broiler at the very end to get some color.  Color = flavor.

Snip apart the twine and let rest for a couple minutes before serving.

Served with Braised Kale and Cinnamon Roasted Roots and Apples

Served with Braised Kale and Cinnamon Roasted Roots and Apples

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