Fridays are the gateway to the weekend and, to me, the perfect time to celebrate a few days off with a festive meal. I love the feeling of Friday nights – the anticipation of soaking up the sun on Saturday, enjoying time with friends, resisting the hustle and bustle of the work day and being able to play epic games of Battleship or Clue with my two boys.
I also love weekends because they give me time to try new recipes and I don’t have to fight crowds at local eateries.
I originally saw something like this recipe posted on Facebook. It caught my attention because it had all my favorite words in it: “bacon,” “sausage” and “pork.” Go ahead, admit it – those words caught your attention too. Initially, I didn’t even READ the recipe my Facebook friend linked to and as it turns out, this recipe I’ve developed from those key words is vastly different than the version of pork paradise he posted. His version, however, was cooked in a smoker. I don’t have a smoker at home, but the addition of a little liquid smoke in the stuffing plus slow-roasting the pork in the oven produced just as good of a result.
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Sausage-Stuffed, Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin, or, Heaven On A Plate
Cooking time: One hour, 5 minutes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
1 (5 lb) pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat
1 lb reduced-fat bulk pork sausage
1/2 large white onion, diced
3/4 lb center-cut bacon
2 cups panko bread crumbs
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 large egg, beaten
1 Tbs liquid smoke
2 Tbs fresh rosemary, chopped
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 325 F.
In a cast iron skillet or skillet with an oven-proof handle, brown bulk sausage with onion until sausage is cooked through and onion is translucent. Transfer from skillet into a large bowl. Mix with panko bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, rosemary, salt and pepper. Add beaten egg and liquid smoke. Mixture should be slightly damp.
Cut a pocket three-quarters of the way through the pork tenderloin, lengthwise. Pack sausage stuffing into the pocket.
Place stuffed tenderloin back into the skillet.
Bind with three pieces of kitchen twine.
Using almost the entire pound of bacon, criss cross slices in an alternating pattern, covering the top of the stuffed pork tenderloin, tucking ends underneath.
Roast at 325 F for an hour, or until internal temperature of the pork reaches 145 F.
Remove cover, turn broiler to high and brown the bacon, about 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
Nutritional Information: Calories per Serving: 713, Fat: 30 g (10.6 g Saturated Fat), Cholesterol: 250 mg, Sodium: 600 mg, Carbohydrates: 16.2 g, Fiber: 1.1 g, Protein: 88.6 g.