Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeño Popper Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

My brother-in-law has a bit of a pig problem.  Wild pig, that is.  They rampage over his and my sister's property, tearing everything up and having a million baby pigs.  So occasionally some delicious wild pork products end up in my freezer.  At that point you have to do the pig justice, so I found this absolutely revelational way of cooking a pork tenderloin.  It's rich and spicy, with slightly candied bacon on the outside.  I found it hard to stop popping pieces in my mouth.  Even if your pork happens to come from the grocery store, this recipe will make it magic.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Popper Stuffed Pork Tenderloin

2 pounds pork tenderloin
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
2 tablespoons dry ranch seasoning
2 jalapeño peppers, finely chopped
1 pound applewood smoked bacon
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400°F.  Lightly oil a baking dish or roasting pan.

Cut a slit, lengthwise, down the center of the pork tenderloin to within ½-inch of the bottom, being careful not to cut all the way through. Open the tenderloin so that it lies flat and cover with plastic wrap. Flatten to a ½-inch thickness by gently pounding with the flat side of a meat mallet, starting from the middle and working outward. Remove plastic wrap.

In a small bowl, combine the cream cheese, ranch seasoning, and chopped jalapeño pepper.  Mix well.  Spread the cream cheese mixture over the flattened pork, then, working from the long side, roll the pork up.  Place in a baking dish, ensuring the open end is on the bottom.

Weave the bacon strips into a crosshatch pattern, if desired (see instructions here).  Lay the bacon over the pork roll and sprinkle with the brown sugar.  Rub the brown sugar into the bacon to ensure it adheres.

Roast until the bacon is crispy with the fat rendered, and the pork is done (165°F on a thermometer), about 30 to 45 minutes.  Let sit for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

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