What is Christmas without a pork tenderloin?
There is no such thing on this blog.
Especially one that is covered in bacon. So on the sixth day of Christmas, I’m sharing with you: a maple bacon pork tenderloin.
A couple weeks ago, I made a recipe from one of my all-time favorite food blogs. It was this pork tenderloin, wrapped in bacon, and slathered with honey. So stinking good.
I wanted to make the meal more “holiday-friendly” and for some reason that involves maple. Maple just screams holidays to me. Or at least winter. Plus, I had a huge jug of it in the refrigerator that was just begging to be used.
I didn’t want the dish to be overly sweet, though. So, I reached for one of my current favorite spices: chili powder. I’ve been throwing chili powder and cayenne pepper into everything – mixed nuts, chocolate, spice rubs, etc. The chili powder lends a hand in spicing things up in this dish.
Now don’t look at this image and automatically think that you aren’t going to make it based on its appearance. I have a few things fighting against me here. For one: pork tenderloin is, in my opinion, the absolute hardest thing to photograph (ex: crockpot apple cinnamon pork tenderloin and slow cooker cranberry orange pork tenderloin). I try to add props and style it better, but it just doesn’t typically work.
Also, my camera. It’s broken. It has been for over a year. I sent it back to the manufacturer last December and paid about a quarter of the original cost of the camera and within two months, it was doing the same thing. So, lately it seems like the focus is way out of wack, and unfortunately, I don’t know how to fix it myself. And I’m not really sure I want to fork out the money for a brand new camera.
But back to this dish. This dish is actually REALLY good, despite the appearance. The bacon keeps the pork super tender, the maple gives it a subtle sweetness, and the spice rub gives it the little kick of heat that I’ve been craving this season.
Maple Bacon Pork Tenderloin
- 1.25 lb. pork tenderloin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- salt and pepper
- 8 slices hickory smoked bacon
- 1/4 c. maple syrup
- 1/4 c. unsweetened apple sauce
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard
In a bowl, combine the chili powder, paprika, and cinnamon. Rub the entire surface of the pork tenderloin with the spice mixture.
In a skillet over medium-high heat, brown the tenderloin on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
Wrap the tenderloin with the bacon strips. The easiest way is to “weave” the bacon around the tenderloin.
Place tenderloin in crockpot.
In a bowl, whisk together the male syrup, applesauce, and Dijon mustard. Pour over top of the pork tenderloin.
Set to low and cook for 6-8 hours. When fully cooked, preheat the broiler. Remove from slow cooker, place on a foil-lined cookie sheet and cook under the broiler to crisp up the bacon. Let rest before slicing.