Smoky bacon and sweet maple syrup give this pork tenderloin a richness that the lean meat alone just wouldn’t have. And chili powder and Dijon mustard add the perfect touch of autumnal bite on top of the heartier savory flavors. It’s a filling, warming centerpiece for the table at this time of year, and it’s actually pretty simple to make.
The construction of this recipe is basically in layers: tenderloin in the middle, a spice rub, a bacon “blanket,” and a sweet-sharp glaze with maple syrup, mustard, and applesauce over the outside. The bacon helps keep the tenderloin from drying out in the oven (or at least gives you a little more wiggle room for cooking time), and all the flavors slowly mix and combine while it’s cooking.
The vegetable sides for this could go in a sweet or in a spicy direction, depending on your preference. For example, you could do roasted squash with chili powder, or the same squash with butter and cinnamon. Fried onions with mustard and black pepper, or roasted carrots with maple syrup. Or do something completely different that sounds tasty; it’s hard to go wrong with this one, and very easy to go right.
Bacon Maple Pork Tenderloin Recipe
Protein: 51g / %
Carbs: 20g / %
Fat: 20g / %
Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.
- 1 pork tenderloin
- 8 to 10 slices good-quality bacon;
- 4 tbsp. maple syrup or raw honey; (optional)
- 2 tbsp. Dijon mustard;
- ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce;
- 1 tsp. chili powder;
- ½ tsp. smoked paprika;
- ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon;
- Cooking fat;
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a bowl, combine the paprika, chili powder, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste.
- Rub the entire surface of the pork tenderloin with the spice mixture.
- Wrap the tenderloin with the bacon strips, securing with cooking twine if necessary.
- In a bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, applesauce, and Dijon mustard.
- Melt some cooking fat in a oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat.
- Brown the tenderloin on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
- Brush the tenderloin generously with the maple syrup mixture, and place in the oven.
- Bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until it reaches your desired doneness, basting with the remaining sauce once in a while.
- Let the meat rest 5 minutes before slicing.