This was a fantastic dinner!
How could such a simple thing be so impressive? Firstly I have to tell all you cooks out there, you could make this blind-folded. And secondly, this dish is all about the ingredients. So if you make it, you need to seek out fresh herbs and good quality bacon. It really makes a difference to the end result (which is you closing your eyes while chewing!).
This idea came to me when I was unloading my bags of groceries onto my counter-top and doing the dreading job of putting everything away. The pork tenderloin just happened to land beside the streaky bacon, and I knew I would have to cook them together. I was also not in the mood to stand over my work surface chopping vegetables, so I decided to chop only 1 thing; a Vidalia onion.
I served this with rice to the kids, and to a good friend who was visiting them for the evening, and, my man Dave and I made glorious sandwiches with the lovely fresh bread I had just bought. What can I say…it was a wonderful evening!
You will need: 1 large sweet onion, sliced in half and cut into 1/2 moon slices, 5 to 6 sprigs fresh thyme, 4 sprig tarragon, 4 cloves garlic, separated & left in skin, 4 mild peppers, left whole (optional), 2 pork tenderloin (about 1 lb each), 3/4 lb or so bacon, 2 cups of broth, OR, 2 cups water & 3/4 of a veggie or chicken bouillon cube, freshly ground black pepper.
If serving with rice; you will need: 2 1/2 cups rice for stove-top method, or, 3 cups rice using rice measure cup for rice-cooker method. Cook rice according to instructions.
If making delicious sandwiches; You will need: 12 slices of good white bread, mayonnaise, cooked pork tenderloin, sliced, 3 good quality pickles, thinly sliced, greens (spinach, lettuce, basil leaves – whatever you like), 2 or 3 good quality tomatoes, sliced, onions from the pan sauce, freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat oven 375*
1 – Lay sliced onions, garlic and herbs in the bottom of a large oven-proof saute pan, roasting dish, or shallow casserole dish.
2 – Wash and dry pork and lay on a work surface. Wrap in bacon and lay on top of the onions. Scatter the peppers (if using), and several grinds of black pepper over the pork. Add 1 1/2 cups of broth (or crumbled bouillon cube and water – this is what I used), and place in oven. Cook for 1 hour, checking midway through cooking, to add more water if it looks like it is getting low or dry.
3 – Remove pork to a plate and tent with foil for 5 minutes, after which, place on a board and slice evenly. While meat is resting, stir onion broth, and add more water or broth if necessary. Keep it warm on low heat. It should be thin and add up to about 1 1/2 to 2 cups. Squeeze a couple of the garlic cloves into the broth and whisk to incorporate. Taste broth for salt and pepper (mine needed nothing, because of the bacon and herbs).
If serving with rice (or pasta, or bed of greens such as spinach): Put rice in warm bowls, top with sliced pork and spoon onions and broth over everything.
If you would like to make sandwiches, do the following: