The TV show "Chopped" comes to mind as the genesis of this recipe. Getting ready to return to our cottage in Lake Lure, North Carolina, for the spring and summer, the refrigerator and pantry needed to be emptied here at home in Florida. Frozen pork tenderloins, dried figs and apples, a bottle of pear nectar, and pure maple syrup were the basics with which I had to work. Granted, there was no disparate mystery ingredient in my basket, but I was determined not to buy one new thing.
My inspiration was a stuffed pork tenderloin from a fellow blogger that I had seen a few years ago. But the similarities are few.
The maple syrup is used both in the stuffing and drizzled over the tenderloins to create a beautiful glaze. The stuffing is sweet to complement the pork and the wrapped bacon cloak adds a hint of smoke to the meat. This is a company-worthy dish. —lakelurelady
Test Kitchen Notes
WHO: Lakelurelady blogs from the kitchen of her cottage in North Carolina.
WHAT: An impressive, super-satisfying, and slightly sweet stuffed pork tenderloin—wrapped in bacon.
HOW: Make a stuffing from fresh and dried fruit, nuts, breadcrumbs, maple syrup, and pear nectar. Roll it up in butterflied pork tenderloin, then wrap it all in bacon and roast away.
WHY WE LOVE IT: This roast is a keeper. We loved the stuffing (and saved the extra to bake in a separate dish!), as well as the complementary layers of flavor from the fruit, maple, bacon, and pork. And the "bacon blanket" helped keep the meat super moist! —The Editors
Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine the apples, dried fruit, celery, pecans, scallions, and bread crumbs in a medium size bowl. Add the maple syrup and pear nectar and mix to combine. Set aside while you prepare the pork tenderloin.
Butterfly the pork tenderloins by cutting them lengthwise about two-thirds of the way through. Place each butterflied tenderloin between sheets of wax paper and pound them out to a 1/4-inch rectangle. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Place as much stuffing as will fit easily on each one. (You will have extra to put in a small casserole to cook separately.) Roll up each pork tenderloin starting at the long ends and place them seam-side down in a roasting pan appropriate to their size. (Not too large). Wrap each tenderloin with 4 slices of bacon.
Drizzle the top of each one with maple syrup and pour 1/2 cup of pear nectar into pan. Place in oven and cook for 1 hour, basting occasionally and adding more liquid if the pan juice starts to caramelize too quickly. When the tenderloins are nicely caramelized after about 1 hour, remove from the oven. Let rest, covered, for 5 minutes. Slice and serve.
I have been a serious cook from the time I first took an introductory course in French Cooking from Irena Chalmers, a cookbook author and instructor at the CIA. My first love is French cooking but I also value the importance of fresh local ingredients. The freshest ingredients seasoned right and prepared with love will result in the perfect meal.