Looking for a new and impressive dish to serve at your holiday gatherings? Or wanting to add a little pizzazz in your usual lineup of weeknight meals?
I have just the recipe for you: bacon-wrapped pork loin.
Yes, pork wrapped in pork. But – it gets even better – it’s made in a slow cooker.
Winner, winner, pork dinner!
Seared and seasoned with brown sugar, garlic and rosemary, then encased in bacon slathered with a bright and tangy glaze, this ultra-tender and moist roast is rich with holiday flavor.
It’s incredibly scrumptious and elegant, yet easy.
The pork slices beautifully and is served drizzled with its own gravy, which makes it an ideal pairing with mashed potatoes or rice, as there’s plenty of it.
And be sure to use a pork loin, not tenderloin, as they are two different cuts of meat.
The glaze calls for apricot preserves (along with orange zest and Dijon and whole grain mustard), but fig, peach or even red pepper jelly can be used. It’s citrusy and zesty and soaks into bacon, making it flavorful, yet tender.
And while the bacon won’t fully crisp, you can place the roast under the broiler for a few minutes to add color and char the edges a bit.
Slow Cooker Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin
Adapted from damndelicious.com
For the glaze:
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
Zest of 1 orange
For the pork:
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 (3-pound) boneless pork loin, excess fat trimmed
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
6 slices bacon, cut in half
Rosemary sprigs, optional garnish
Orange zest, optional garnish
To make the glaze, combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a large skillet, heat the vegetable oil over medium high heat. Season the pork all over with the salt and pepper, and sear all the sides until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove to a plate.
Cover the top of the pork loin with the brown sugar, minced garlic and dried rosemary. Then starting at one end, lay the bacon strips over the loin, overlapping them slightly so that they are shingled.
Place the pork loin into a slow cooker and top with apricot-mustard mixture. Cover and cook on low heat for 3-4 hours or until internal temperature reaches 140 degrees.
When done, bacon will be thoroughly cooked through, but if you’d prefer it a bit crisper, you can place it in the oven to broil.
Garnish with rosemary and orange zest, if desired, and serve the slices drizzled with juices from the slow cooker.
Audrey Alfaro can be reached at email@example.com.
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