One of my favorite recipes for salmon calls for a glaze consisting of maple syrup, whole grain mustard, minced garlic, and lemon juice. It may sound weird to use maple syrup on fish, but it’s really freaking good. Over the holidays, while conversing with my mom about this particular recipe, it occurred to me that this combination would make an incredible marinade for a pork tenderloin. In lieu of lemon juice, I opted for apple cider vinegar, because I’ve always loved the combination of apples and vinegar with pork. Then I thought, “What the hell, I’ll wrap the meat in bacon, because bacon makes everything better.” Get ready for some pork-on-pork goodness!
2 lbs pork tenderloin (2 pieces, each roughly 1 lb)
4 Tbsp whole grain mustard
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb bacon strips, cut in half
2 Tbsp parsley, minced (optional)
1. Place the pork tenderloins in a large zip-top plastic bag (or if you are environmentally conscious, a glass baking dish). Combine the mustard, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper in a small mixing bowl. Pour the mixture over the meat. Zip the plastic bag shut and use your hands to massage the marinade into tenderloins, making sure all sides are evenly coated (if you’re doing this in a baking dish, use clean hands to massage the marinade into the meat and cover the dish with a lid or plastic wrap once you’re finished). Allow the pork to marinate, refrigerated, for 4-8 hours.
2. Remove the pork tenderloins from the refrigerator at least an hour before you intend to roast them so that they can come to room temperature. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil (unless you don’t mind post-meal cleanup), then place a baking rack on top. Using cooking spray, lightly grease the rack.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Gently place the tenderloins on the baking rack, leaving a few inches between them to allow for even cooking. Drape the half-strips of bacon, slightly overlapping, the entire length of each tenderloin. The tenderloins should be resting under a lovely bacon blanket.
4. Place the pork tenderloins in the oven for 35-45 minutes, or until the meat register 155 degrees on a meat thermometer. If the bacon starts to burn, place a foil tent over the tenderloin.
5. Remove the tenderloins from the oven and allow them to rest for 10-15 minutes. They should register 160-165 degrees before serving. Baste the meat with the pan drippings, then slice and serve, garnished with mince parsley, if you desire.