Bored with pork tenderloin? Try this one stuffed with cranberries and wrapped in bacon

Pork tenderloin has always been a weeknight favorite that happens to be suitable for Sunday supper or even a holiday. I tend to buy the marinated tenderloins from the grocery store, but on other occasions, it’s nice to buy an unseasoned one and stuff it with a flavorful filling.

In this recipe from “The Cranberry Cookbook: Year-Round Dishes From Bog to Table” by Sally Pasley Vargas (Globe Pequot Press, $18), tenderloin benefits from both herbs and cranberries in the filling, as well as bacon on the outside.

If you have frozen cranberries left over from Thanksgiving or dried ones in your pantry, you can add them to the stuffing of this bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin from “The Cranberry Cookbook.” Contributed by Sally Pasley Vargas

Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Potatoes

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 fennel bulb, finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup coarse fresh breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) pork tenderloin
1/3 cup fresh, frozen or dried cranberries, coarsely chopped
8 to 10 strips of bacon (about 12 ounces), cut in half
For the potatoes:
1 1/2 pounds small red or yellow potatoes, halved
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Add the onion and fennel, and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the rosemary and thyme and cook 30 seconds more. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the breadcrumbs, salt and pepper. Set aside to cool briefly.

Cut a deep lengthwise slit down the center of the tenderloin but not all the way through. Open it up like a book. Cover with a piece of plastic wrap, and with a mallet or rolling pin, gently pound it until it is of an even thickness. Remove the plastic. Spread the stuffing in a line along the center of the meat and top with the cranberries. Bring the edges of the meat together to return it to its original shape. Secure with toothpicks.

On a cutting board, lay out the bacon slices overlapping them slightly. Place the tenderloin on top with the toothpicks facing up. Removing the toothpicks as you work, wrap the bacon slices around the pork to form a log. Place the tenderloin, bacon seam side down, on a rimmed baking sheet. Set aside while you prep the potatoes.

On a rimmed baking sheet, mound the potatoes. Drizzle with the oil. With your hands, rub the oil into the potatoes so they are completely coated. Sprinkle with thyme, salt and pepper and toss together. Spread on the baking sheet, cut sides down.

Roast the meat and potatoes for 20 to 25 minutes, or until an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat registers 145 to 150 degrees and the bacon browns and crisps. If the roast is ready before the bacon browns, remove it from the oven and turn on the broiler. Broil for 3 to 5 minutes to brown the bacon. Remove and let rest for 10 minutes before cutting into slices. The potatoes are ready when they are tender and golden brown. Serve alongside the pork. Serves 4.

— “The Cranberry Cookbook: Year-Round Dishes From Bog to Table” by Sally Pasley Vargas (Globe Pequot Press, $18),

Author: Addie Broyles

Food writer for the Austin American-Statesman and

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