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Seasonal flavors to include smoked bacon and sweet maple pack a one-two PUNCH OF YUM in this recipe for Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin!
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
There are a few tricks to achieving a smoky flavor to meat and fish and poultry without going through the process of a long smoke. In this method, I am specifying both smoked bacon AND smoked paprika for the enhancement of that smoked flavor I am trying to attain.
During the bake, the juices from both the loin and the smoked bacon will slowly marry with the other flavors added to this dish. Maple syrup, Dijon mustard, and fresh rosemary all play dominant roles here. At the end of the bake, and after a 5 or so minute resting period, I collect all of the pan juices. I boil them down by half. This step not only thickens this sauce, but it also emphasizes the smoke profile like gangbusters!
Undoubtedly, having the TIME to perform a long smoke would be ideal. Let’s face it though, on a weeknight, who wants to start all of that AFTER a long day or work and school and general running around? With this easy to throw together roast, and including the time it takes to peel and mash some potatoes, I can still have dinner on the table in just under 1 hour.
Don’t own a smoker but craving some good smoked food? Fret not. Despite my urging the planet to invest in smokers, I realize the process is not for everyone. Barbecue and smoke however maintain their lead when it comes to popular Southern fare!
So, what do you do when you have to have smoke?? YOU CHEAT! Follow this seven-ingredient method for the best gosh darn smoked pork loin wrapped in bacon that you’ve ever tasted. Prepare to ponder serving this to guests!
Do You Have What’s Needed For Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin? Check The List!
real maple syrup
real Dijon mustard
apple wood smoked, hickory wood smoked, or other smoked thick cut bacon
1 to 1 1/2 – pound pork loin/tenderloin roast, a gentleman’s cut
How This Recipe Came About…
Maple-Dijon were the ingredients used to bake up some yummy bar nuts I’d enjoyed at the Waldorf Astoria in New York some years back. The barkeep just kept filling the bowl! They were sweet and salty and had whole baked rosemary leaves in and among the pecans and cashews I was sifting through with my fingers.
Fast forward 20 years. Y’all know I am a HUGE FAN of my Weber Smokey Mountain barrel smoker. On weekends, especially in the fall, I am experimenting with smoking all kinds of ingredients.
When I hit my local big box store, I buy meat and chicken and fish in bulk. The pork tenderloins are massive. I butcher them into many cuts before freezing.
Pork loin roasts, usually cut from the fattest end of the loin, freeze well and make great bases for comforting dinners. And this past week, I had something planned for one of those roasts. Something in line with those bar nuts that always remind me of autumn in Central Park…
How To Add Smoke Flavor Without A Smoker?
I am all about adding smoke authentically. What I am NOT about is anything processed to mimic smoke flavoring such as liquid smoke.
That stuff is a no-no if you are somebody who appreciates the time involved in an actual smoke. Once you’ve tasted real smoked foods, you would never touch a bottle of anything pretending to offer smoke flavoring in this way.
Give me some hickory wood chunks, some natural charcoal, and a grill rack for my smoker, and I will have a hickory smoked bacon wrapped pork tenderloin for you in as many hours. But using a smoker requires ample prep time in addition to a lengthy smoke time which I do not always have.
Instead, if I haven’t the time to perform a smoke, I look to ingredients that have been through the process of being smoked. Then, I modify them by combining them with other ingredients where I want smoke to play a part in the final product.
Smoked cheeses, smoked spices like paprika, and smoked provisions such as bacon and ham and turkey can become AMAZING ingredients when I am putting together new recipes.
Do You Need A Lot Of Smoke Flavor To Make Meat Taste Good?
Yes and no and it depends…how’s that for an answer? This is purely personal. I love smoke so I intentionally own a smoker to bring on LOTS of smoke flavoring. My friend Patty dislikes smoke, therefor anything I plan to serve to her must be very subtle.
To get LOTS of smoke, you just need to start smoking. It’s not as difficult as it looks and I have a very good post from my Smoked Carolina Pulled Pork that you may reference.
You can also get LOTS of smoke by engaging ingredients which have already been smoked, in this case, the rendering of smoked bacon fat. Here, and once the roast is perfected and crackling, I pour off that pan sauce including the bacon fat and begin to boil it all down.
What I end up with is a gorgeous and highly concentrated sauce. A mildly thick au jus. It is smoky, sweet, pungent, and earthy. In short, this dish is autumn on a dinner plate.
What Other Bacon Can I Substitute For The Smoked Bacon In This Recipe?
I’ve mentioned what to use if you are looking to garner that familiar campfire flavor that is smoke. And the recipe I am sharing herein is for that classic hickory smoked pork tenderloin. But what if you don’t want smoke at all? In this case, the fix is a cinch.
Select instead a maple flavored bacon at your grocery for a maple bacon pork loin. You are looking for a bacon that is cured with real maple syrup. The natural maple flavoring adds to the aroma in your kitchen as it renders atop the roast, and makes for one crazy good seasonal dish.
How To Make A Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin?
- To treat your friends and family to a tender pork loin recipe that’s full of flavor but low on fuss, follow these few steps. It is important to use the ingredients indicated and not substitutes. There really is no substitute for real maple syrup or real Dijon mustard, so you’d be hard pressed to find logical replacements.
- I start by rinsing and patting dry a pork loin roast that I have brought to room temperature on my counter. After patting dry, roll in several tablespoons of rosemary, some of it whole leaves and some finely chopped.
- Butter a small baking dish, small enough to fit the pork roast tightly. This will not work in a giant roasting pan and the juices will evaporate or burn off too quickly.
- Place the rosemary pork roast into the baking dish. Cut a pound of bacon right down the middle or use half the package (6 slices) and cut them in half to equal a dozen slices of bacon.
- Beginning with one end of the roast, lay a piece of the bacon over top. It will not be “wrapped” per se, but this placement ensures it will render correctly. Take another piece of bacon and place it down, slightly overlapping the first. Repeat with all of the pieces of bacon until the visible surface of the pork roast is completely covered.
- Essentially, we are assembling a bacon wrapped maple glazed pork loin, so whisk the marinade ingredients, chopping in some additional rosemary if desired. I do this because I LOVE that earthy flavor rosemary imparts.
- Pour the marinade over the pork, cover tightly with foil, and set the oven timer for 25 minutes cook time. This gives the pork a true head start under all of that bacon.
- After 25 minutes, remove the foil and set the timer for an additional 20 to 25 minutes. In this step, the bacon is continuing to render, but it is also slowly crisping up. Prepare to be DAZZLED by the aromas in your kitchen.
- Before the last 5 minutes of the bake, have a good look at the bacon. If it appears to not have crisped up the way you’d like it, test your pork first for the temperature. If you are at 140 degrees Fahrenheit, consider switching the oven to the broiler feature for about 1 to 2 minutes being careful not to allow the top of the roast and the bacon to burn.
- Remove from the oven and allow the roast to rest for 5 minutes. Pour off the juices into a very small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Place aluminum over the pork roast to keep it warm. Reduce the sauce by half. Carve the roast with a sharp serrated knife and arrange the slices on a platter. Drizzle with the thickened reduced sauce all over the slices and serve immediately.
Modifying The Norm To Make It Not Entirely Average…
There is not much I would do to this bacon wrapped smoked pork loin to make it better I don’t think. That’s because to me it is already perfected. To that end, switching out the base of this recipe might make things not entirely average.
Consider a boneless turkey breast the size of that sold around Thanksgiving. The bacon would would serve to keep the turkey breast moist just as it does for the pork, an already lean piece of meat. The maple would compliment the turkey altogether beautifully.
If you are somebody who likes to stuff their roasts, this one lends itself well to this method. Smoked bacon wrapped pork tenderloin stuffed with cream cheese and fresh spinach is a favorite. Smoked stuffed pork tenderloin can be stuffed with anything really, although cheese, dried fruits, and fresh leaves like spinach are the more popular choices.
How Long Does It Take To Bake A Smoked Pork Loin?
The internal temperature for pork to be cooked fully is 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This recipe calls for a pork roast anywhere from 1-pound to 1 1/2-pounds, so plan on a 50-ish minute cook time. Begin testing for doneness around the 45 minute mark on your timer.
Use a working meat thermometer to check the internal doneness of the meat in the thickest part. I pull my pork from the oven when my meat thermometer reaches 140 degrees to 142 degrees. I cover loosely with foil while still in the pan and allow the roast to reach 145 degrees on its own while resting.
What To Serve With A Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin?
Oh my goodness, soooo many side dishes would elevate this dish beginning with my Creamy Squash Casserole. If you’re uninspired, get peeling and whip some potatoes or consider a kid-friendly side like Cheesy Cheddar Broccoli Casserole.
What To Drink With A Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin?
So, you could go either way here in terms or a red or white wine. I personally cannot mention pork tenderloin without giving a nod to an old vine zinfandel.
Old vine zins are incredibly bold. And unlike the barrel characteristics you are able to detect upon tasting in most wines, old vine zins boast spices like nutmeg and clove.
Beer and food are married together based on the effect they have on one another. My first choice here is a Porter with nutty and toffee characteristics which work well with smoked meats, especially bacon.
Brown ales with hints of caramel and an overall malty flavor tend to elevate roasted pork and really hyper focus on the sugars in the maple syrup. An amber ale would most definitely compliment, too.
Can I Freeze Leftover Portions Of Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin?
By all means. That is, assuming you’ve got leftovers to begin with! Simply wrap the slices in aluminum foil tightly, then drop into a plastic freezer bag with the contents and date of freeze noted on the package. Freeze for up to three months.
How To Serve Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin?
I like to arrange all of the hot slices atop a pretty platter and drizzle liberally with the maple Dijon reduction. If you find you have more reduction than you think should be poured over the pork, serve the overage in a small creamer or gravy boat tableside.
If You Like This Recipe…
…you might also like:
Smoked Bacon Wrapped Pork Loin
- meat thermometer
- small baking dish or small roasting pan
- ⅓ cup maple syrup must be pure maple syrup; do not substitute fake
- 3 tablespoons Dijon
- 4 tablespoons rosemary fresh, divided; half of the leaves chopped finely and the remainder left whole
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 6 slices bacon apple wood smoked, hickory wood smoked, or other smoked thick cut; cut in half
- 1 ½ pounds pork loin roast or gentleman's cut
- 1 teaspoon unsalted butter may substitute olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Butter the bottom and sides of an 8 x 10-inch baking dish with butter or a teaspoon of olive oil. The baking dish should be small enough to fit the roast snug, but still leave room for the marinade.
- Rinse and pat dry a pork loin roast that has been brought brought to room temperature. After patting dry, roll in 3 tablespoons of the rosemary, some of it whole leaves and some finely chopped. Spread the rosemary over the entire roast including the ends.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, Dijon mustard, remaining tablespoon of chopped rosemary, smoked paprika, and Worcestershire until combined.
- Place the rosemary pork roast into the prepared baking dish. Cut a pound of bacon right down the middle or use half the package (6 slices) and cut the in half to equal a dozen slices of bacon.
- Beginning with one end of the roast, lay a piece of the bacon over top. It will not be "wrapped" per se, but this placement ensures it will render correctly. Take another piece of bacon and place it down, slightly overlapping the first. Repeat with all of the pieces of bacon until the visible surface of the pork roast is completely covered.
- Pour the marinade over the pork, cover tightly with foil, and bake for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes, remove the foil and set the timer for an additional 20 to 25 minutes more. Retain the foil.
- Before the last 5 minutes of the bake, have a good look at the bacon. If it appears to not have crisped up the way you'd like it, test your pork first for the temperature. If you are at 140° F, consider switching the oven to the broiler feature for about 1 to 2 minutes being careful not to allow the top of the roast or the bacon to burn. If you are not yet at 140° F, continue to bake until a thermometer registers 140° F. NOTE: Pork is considered DONE at 145°F, however the roast will continue to cook under the foil while the sauce is being reduced.
- Remove from the oven and immediately pour off the juices into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the sauce by half. Place the aluminum foil over the pork roast to keep it warm and to allow the juices to redistribute while the sauce reduces.
- Carve the roast with a sharp serrated knife and arrange the slices on a platter. Drizzle with the thickened reduced sauce all over the slices and serve immediately.
The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.
Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.