Oh my goodness, I made this last week and it might very well be my favourite recipe of the year! How can you go wrong with pork covered in what basically amounts to candied bacon?! 😀 There are really no words that could do this justice so make this for yourself ASAP. The only teeny-weeny thing that gave me trouble was the cooking time. I like my pork more on the medium / medium well side so this took quite a bit longer to cook to my preference, I’d say a good extra 20 minutes and a bit of the candy coating got burnt on the bottom. It was not fun to scrape of the cast iron pan, but totally worth it!
Bacon-Brown Sugar Pork Tenderloin
1 pork tenderloin (about 1 1/2 pounds)
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika (regular can be substituted)
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
4 to 6 slices good-quality bacon
1 tablespoon canola oil (or other neutral high-heat oil)
1/4 cup Major Grey’s Chutney (See Recipe Note) [I used grape jelly]
2 tablespoons whole grain or Dijon mustard [I used whole grain]
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the silverskin (the silvery-white connective tissue running along the top) from the pork tenderloin with a sharp knife. Pat the tenderloin dry with paper towels and set aside.
Combine the brown sugar, salt, paprika, and cayenne in a small bowl. Rub all of the mixture into the pork tenderloin. Wrap the tenderloin with the strips of bacon, securing along the sides with toothpicks.
Heat the canola oil in a large cast iron skillet, or other oven-proof skillet, over medium-high heat until sizzling. Add the bacon-wrapped tenderloin and sear — do not disturb it while it’s searing — until deep caramel brown, about 6 to 8 minutes. Flip the tenderloin and continue searing until the other side is browned.
Mix the chutney and mustard in a small bowl and brush generously over the top of the tenderloin. Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook the tenderloin until a probe thermometer reads 140°F, approximately 10 to 14 minutes.
Remove from the oven and loosely tent with foil. Rest for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the tenderloin to finish cooking and for the juices to redistribute into the meat. Remove toothpicks and slice into 1/4- to 1/2-inch pieces for serving. Serve with any leftover chutney on the side.
You can find Major Grey’s Chutney at most grocery stores, or purchase it online. You can also substitute another favorite chutney or jam.