A premise: many many thanks to everyone for the wonderful comments you left in the previous post of the Mad Hatter Tea Party, I was really glad and honored, and galvanized, and sparkling happy, I admit … eh eh eh. But now it is time to return to earth, and to do that I chose a recipe that is very simple: I’ve already done it twice in a month since it is very good and faces one of the macro ingredients that for me are a real taboo: meat!
Ask me for a dessert, whatever, and somehow I’ll do that. Ask me for a pasta dish, whatever, and I’ll find a way to make it. But if you ask me for meat or raised bread, you’ll see me getting white slowly, my hands begin a bit to shake, and there – at a closer look – you can see a nervous eye twitch!
Obviously this situation can not continue like this! Am I or not a foodblogger?! Fears must be faced with method and perseverance. I’ve decided to learn to cook meat! To do that, we start from the bottom up, from small pieces and easy recipes … I can not pretend to deal with a beef Wellington and remain unharmed, right? To achieve this high and noble purpose, I decided to start with a simple and essential cookbook, Donna Hay‘s book dedicated to beef, lamb + pork. This book is totally into the style of this legendary Australian: simple, immediate, never too heavy or sophisticated. Easily available ingredients, well explained processes and until now, I have to reckon, guaranteed results.
So, let’s start our path toward meat mastery with pork tenderloin with thyme (the recipe calls for lemon thyme, I used simple thyme).
- pork tenderloin, 2 (about 500 gr)
- extra virgin olive oil for brushing
- bacon slices, a dozen
- thyme sprigs
- small potatoes, cut in a half with the peel, about 400 gr
- garlic, some cloves
- alt and pepper
- cherry tomatoes, 250 gr
Preheat oven to 200°C. Cut the pork fillets into regular pieces, more or less a dozen of pieces, and brush them with extra virgin olive oil. Wrap them in bacon slicec, put a sprig of thyme over each piece and tie ip with a string. Set aside.
Cut potatoes in halves or quarters, depending on their size, and put them in a baking pan with garlic and extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and stir to mix. Bake for about 20 minutes. Add at this point the pork and tomatoes and bake for another 20 minutes, or until the pork is well cooked and potatoes are golden. Make sure that pork, potatoes and tomatoes have enough space in the baking pan, avoiding them from overlapping: it is better to use one larger pan or two medium size pans.
Final judgemet: test passed with flying colors! The pork tenderloin – that perhaps is a bit stringy if cooked directly in the oven as it is – wrapped in bacon is soft and well seasoned. Besides that, it’s a good idea to let the bacon itself flavour the meat: at the end pork is tender and not too salty. The idea of adding cherry tomatoes still attached to each other is scenic but also very practical when you serve it.