A few chocolate chips in a spoonful of creamy, salted peanut butter?
Chopsticks holding the freshest Yellow Tail sashimi imaginable with jalapeño and citrus?
A forkful of medium-rare steak topped garlic-gorgonzola mashed potato and a caramelized shallot?
That’s a yes, yes and yes for me. Really, my personal list of perfect bites is endless, but today I have a new one to add . . .
And remember when you cook, to take a moment take a moment to admire the beauty of the ingredients.
- 2 medium-sized Idaho Russet potatoes see notes
- ¾ cup diced pluots skin removed (about 2, medium-sized)
- ¼ cup finely diced yellow/brown onion
- ¾ teaspoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ cup red wine
- ½ teaspoon chile paste I like Sambal Oelek
- 1 approximately 1¼-pound pork tenderloin
- approximately 6 strips bacon
- Olive oil if necessary for the potatoes
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Fill a medium-sized pot with cold water. Peel the potatoes and then cut them into bite-sized pieces. Add the potatoes to the water-filled pot as you cut them.
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook just until they're slightly tender -- not all the way, about 10 minutes.
Drain and set aside.
Once the potatoes are on the stove, add the pluots, onion, garlic, sugar and water to a small sauce pan and cook over low-medium heat until the pluots are becoming softer and everything is blending together, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Then add the wine and chile paste and continue to cook over low heat until it thickens and reduces by about ¼, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
Place the pork tenderloin on a clean, dry work surface and season all of the sides with salt and pepper. Then, one strip of bacon at a time, wrap the pork. Begin each new slice slightly overlapping the previous one, and work diagonally, so everything is covered evenly.
Place an ovenproof skillet (ideally cast iron), large enough to easily hold the pork with room around it, over high heat. Once it's hot, add the bacon-wrapped tenderloin. You should hear a sizzle -- if you don't, the skillet isn't hot enough yet. Use kitchen tongs to turn it carefully as you brown each side.
Once all sides are nicely browned (which should only take a few minutes), turn the fire off and add the potatoes to both sides of the pork. If there isn't a generous amount of fat from the bacon, drizzle the potatoes with olive oil.
Season the potatoes generously with salt and pepper, and toss them a bit.
Place the skillet in the preheated 450 degree F oven and cook just until the pork has an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, and the potatoes are golden brown -- this should take about 15 minutes, but times will vary. About halfway through the cooking time, turn the pork over and toss the potatoes. If the pork is ready, but the potatoes aren't as brown as you'd like them to be, you can finish them on the stove, or remove the pork, and keep them going in the oven a bit longer.
Let the pork rest for at least 7 minutes before slicing it.
Serve with the potatoes next to the pork and add a bit of the sauce beneath and on top.