I have been dying to share this recipe for Porchetta Pork Tenderloin with you guys.
Why? Because it’s quickly become my new favorite weeknight meal. With just 10 minutes of prep work and 30 – 40 minutes cook time, this show-stopper entree can turn a boring weeknight dinner into a dazzling pork on pork extravaganza. And I mean, how bad could that be?
Before we get to this pork-tastic recipe, let’s talk about porchetta in general. Porchetta, Italian in origin, is traditionally made by stuffing an entire de-boned pig with ground pork (usually offal), and seasonings. Garlic, rosemary, fennel, salt and pepper are most common. The pig gets tied up around a spit, and then roasted until the skin is crispy and crackly and the insides are moist and tender. This Italian specialty has been all the rage here in America over the past several years. Here’s the porchetta sandwich I had from the People’s Pig in Portland. And last year, I made a whole porchetta roast for Valentine’s Day (here’s a slice photo)! Both were seriously tasty.
Traditional porchetta is super labor-intensive, and even the roast I linked to above took some time to prepare. This Porchetta Pork Tenderloin recipe captures the flavors and textures of it’s traditional counterpart without the hours and hours of prep and cooking. Continue reading for the recipe.
Flavorings here include fresh rosemary (picked from our backyard), garlic, crushed fennel seeds, red pepper flake, salt and pepper. This bold blend really packs a big flavor punch. If you’ve got some spare time, rub the pork tenderloin several hours in advance, and let rest in the fridge. Don’t have the extra time? Don’t worry about it. The finished roast will still be incredibly delicious.
The rubbed tenderloin is wrapped in bacon to provide the additional layer of flavor and texture. As the roast cooks in the oven, the bacon will get all nice and cripsy while basting the tenderloin in glorious pork fat. Pork tenderloin can easily dry out, so the additional pork fat is crucial to keep things juicy.
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped; plus 2 heads, halved crosswise
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary, plus 5 sprigs
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds, lightly crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided (1 for the rub, 1 for drizzling)
- 1 1 - 1 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 5 slices of bacon
- Preheat an oven to 425°F.
- Add garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds, red pepper and kosher salt to a small bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil, tossing to combine. Rub tenderloin all over with the garlic-rosemary mixture. Season the tenderloin with several turns of black pepper. If you've got time, let rest in the fridge for a few hours.
- Place rosemary sprigs down the center of a baking dish. Wrap the bacon around the pork tenderloin, then lay the whole thing lengthwise on top of the rosemary sprigs. Tuck halved garlic cloves around the tenderloin. Drizzle everything with remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
- Roast until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the tenderloin registers 140°F. For a 1 pound roast, this takes about 30 minutes. For a 1 1/2 pound roast, this takes about 40 minutes. Transfer meat to a cutting board, and let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
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