Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Apricot Pork Tenderloin

This is the easiest recipe ever. Seriously...it looks like you worked on it all day, but it is ready to go in 5 minutes. I make this all the time, especially for any moms with new babies. I try to buy the pork whenever it's on sale, and keep them in the freezer so I always have one on hand.
The one tool you really should have before you make this is an instant read meat thermometer. If you don't have one, go buy one. You'll find them at Walmart, Linens and Things, etc. Lining the pan with heavy duty foil really saves on cleanup, 'cause no mom I know has time to stand at the sink and scrub for forever.

Apricot Pork Tenderloin

2 pork tenderloins (usually sold 2 per package)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 slices uncooked bacon (not turkey bacon, use the real stuff)
4-6 tablespoons apricot preserves (peach preserves works well too)
1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced.

Take the pork out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature. This will take about 30 minutes. Cold meat seizes up when you cook it, so it's a good idea to take some of the chill out of it first. You can do this if you're grilling meat, sauteing it... you get the idea.

Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Yes, 500, this is not a typo. Pork tenderloin is very lean, and cooking it quickly at a high temperature keeps the meat from drying out, otherwise you will have a pork brick.

Season the pork with a little salt and some pepper. Keep in mind the bacon is salty, so you want to go easy on the salt. The tenderloins are thick on one end and thinner on the other end-- so tuck about 2 inches of the thinner end under. This helps the whole piece cook evenly. Wrap each tenderloin with 3 strips of bacon. Spread 2 tablespoons of preserves over the top of the pork (or more if you'd like), and lay 1/2 the onion over each tenderloin. Place in a 9x13 baking dish lined with heavy duty foil. (*Don't use those disposable aluminum pans for his recipe. They can only withstand temperatures around 400 degrees. So use a nice heavy metal/glass pan).

Check on your roast about halfway through. If the onions are getting to dark for your liking (they may very well even burn just a little, which we like, but you may not). Just cover the pan with some foil, and proceed, no problem. My onion slices are small because we still have a stash of onions David harvested 2 months ago. They are smaller than the onions you'd find in the store, so that's why they look little.

Roast the meat for about 25-30 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 140-145 when inserted into the thickest part of the pork. Don't go stabbing it in over and over, you'll lose juices, which will result in a dry roast. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing--this relaxes the meat and helps all the juices redistribute. If you've put your thermometer in, keep it in the meat after you take it out, again, so you don't loose juices. The temperature may rise 5-10 degrees while it's resting, which is normal, so don't worry.
We usually serve this with a side of rice or bread, and a vegetable/salad. Tonight I had a bag of spinach I needed to use up, so I made side of sauteed spinach. I'll post the recipe for it tomorrow.
Hope you enjoy!
God bless your table tonight!

1 comment:

Ginkgo100 said...

I can report that it is good with cherry preserves too! Mine was dry because I didn't use bacon (hubby doesn't like it). Do you have any alternate suggestions? They use some kind of fatty netting on gourmet cooking shows, but I suspect that's out of my league.