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Pork tenderloin with pancetta and thyme

Thank you so much for the wonderful comments you left in the previous post of the Mad Hatter Tea Party, I am humbled and honoured by your incredible feedback. But now it is time to get my feet back on the ground, and to do that I chose a simple recipe: I’ve already made it twice in a month, as it is very good and it also helps me to tackle one of the ingredients I’m less confident with: meat.

I had to face and change this situation as soon as possible. I’m a respectable food blogger, am I not?

Pork tenderloin with pancetta

Time has come to learn to cook meat.

I decided to start from the beginning, from small pieces and easy recipes. I can not deal with a beef Wellington as the first attempt, can I?

To achieve this high and noble purpose, I used a brilliant book, Donna Hay‘s Beef, Lamb and Pork (Simple Essentials). This book is totally into the style of this legendary Australian food writer: simple, immediate, never too heavy or sophisticated. Easily available ingredients, well explained processes and guaranteed results.

Pork tenderloin with pancetta

Pork tenderloin with pancetta and thyme

So, let’s start our path toward the meat mastery with Donna Hay’s pork tenderloin with pancetta and thyme (the recipe calls for lemon thyme, I used simple thyme).

Pork tenderloin with pancetta and thyme

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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Servings 4 people


  • 500 g pork tenderloin
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 slices pancetta, not too thin
  • fresh thyme
  • 400 g small potatoes
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 g cherry tomatoes
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  • Preheat oven to 200°C (390°F). Cut the pork fillets into pieces, about 8 pieces of the same size, and brush them with extra virgin olive oil. Wrap the pork tenderloin in pancetta slices, put a sprig of thyme over each piece and secure it with a piece of butcher's twine. Set aside.
  • Cut the potatoes in halves or quarters, depending on their size, leaving the skin on, then arrange them in a baking pan with the unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir to mix thoroughly. Roast the potatoes in the hot oven for about 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, add the pork tenderloin and the tomatoes and roast for 20 more minutes, or until the pork is well cooked and the potatoes are golden. Make sure that pork, potatoes and tomatoes have enough space in the baking pan, as to roast them evenly.
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Tasting test: test passed with flying colours! The pork tenderloin – that could be a bit stringy if roasted directly in the oven as it is – remains moist and well seasoned thanks to the pancetta. The idea of adding cherry tomatoes still attached to the vine other is scenic, but also very practical when you serve it.

More recipes with pork from the blog archive

  • Pork tenderloin medallions with apples and onions. You can prepare the pork tenderloin medallions wrapped in lardo and cook them with apples and onions in no time. They will remain juicy, perfectly paired with the caramelised apples and onions.
  • Stuffed pork loin. Prepare the arista ripiena, a stuffed pork loin with sausage, Parmigiano Reggiano, breadcrumbs and wild fennel flowers, in advance and serve it cold, thinly sliced and drizzled with its cooking juices.
  • Roast pork loin with apples. As with any self-respecting pork roast the meat is well browned on the outside, with a warm and reassuring hue, while inside is juicy and soft. The apples give sweetness and curiosity, whether you decide to serve them rustic as they are, just out of the pot, caramelised and soft, or as a creamy and fruity dressing.

Pork tenderloin with pancetta

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. I love so many aspects of this meal… it’s a one-pan dish, the pork is wrapped up into little packages, and the flavors must be incredible!

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