Friday, May 7, 2010

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Medallions in Red Wine and Rosemary Sauce

There is a judge frequently on Iron Chef America who swears that bacon makes everything taste better.  I wanted to test that theory so I bought 4 packages of bacon the last time I was at the grocery store.  Ok, not just because of the judge on Iron Chef America-but because it was on sale, BOGO, and I eat turkey bacon and Jeff likes the regular stuff.  Ok, OK, I admit we might have a problem.  Let's figure out a way to solve it....  Pork wrapped in bacon!!  Jeff always says there is nothing better for dinner than meat and meat!

Bacon-Wrapped Pork Medallions with Red Wine and Rosemary Sauce
adapted from Cook's Illustrated, The New Best Recipe by way of Pink Parsley

1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of excess fat (mine was 1.5lbs)
sea salt
10 slices bacon, thick cut or Applewood smoked
1 Tbsp olive oil
3/4 red wine
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 tsp rosemary
1 bay leaf

Arrange bacon in a single layer on a cooling rack that is placed on top of a baking sheet with 4 sides.  Bake at 400 degrees for 13 minutes.  Remove from oven, blot excess grease with a paper towel and let cool on cooling rack.

Meanwhile, slice the tenderloin into 1" thick pieces.  Season both sides with salt and pepper and then wrap each medallion with one slice of bacon.  Secure bacon with a toothpick.

Heat oil in cast iron skillet until you see light whisps of smoke come from the oil.  Sear medallions until nicely browned on each side, about 2 minutes per side.  Feel free to do these in batches if they don't all fit in your pan.  Transfer medallions to a plate.

In the same skillet over medium-high heat, pour in the wine (I used a Malbec).  Cook, scraping the browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon, until the wine has reduced to about 2-3 Tablespoons.  This took me about 6-7 minutes.

Increase heat to high and add the chicken broth, rosemary and bay leaf to the reduced wine sauce.  Cook until this sauce is reduced to a thicker consistency, about 3-5 minutes.  Place the pork medallions back in the wine sauce, and add any juices from the plate as well.  Continue cooking, about 3 minutes, to heat and cook the pork through, turning once to coat each medallion with the sauce.

Transfer to a plate, remove the toothpicks, spoon additional sauce over each piece if you like and serve immediately with your favorite sides. 

The meat smelled delicious while cooking.  The medallions went from this:

To this:

To served up in the sauce on a plate:

The meat was so tender.  I didn't even think that pork could become that tender from being cooked on the stove top in such a short amount of time, but it was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth delicious.  I will be making this dish again and again and again.  We loved every bite.

From the original recipe I omitted the cherries completely, substituting a bay leaf instead and altered the cooking times slightly.  I'm not sure if it was the higher altitude, but the times needed extending for the pork to cook through fully.

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