It’s Autumn you guys!! You all known by now how much I LOVE autumn. The colours, the crisp, cold air, the crunch of fallen leaves underfoot…it is, in my humble opinion, the most beautiful time of year. It’s also arguably the most delicious time of year. Autumn bring gorgeous root vegetables like sweet potatoes, turnips, and swedes, not to mention a huge variety of pumpkins, mushrooms, and citrus fruits. As soon as the weather turns colder, I have an overwhelming urge to put on a cozy jumper and cook warm, hearty meals with rich, earthy flavours.
A bacon wrapped pork tenderloin might sound a bit…excessive, but trust me, it’s so worth it. Technically, I used pancetta rather than bacon, but that didn’t sound quite as good for a blog title so I took some creative license. Don’t judge me, it’s all about ~aesthetics~.
Pancetta is really salty and has a tendency to crisp up when cooked, so wrapping it around the pork ensures that the meat remains tender and juicy whilst also benefitting from the crunchy crust of the pancetta. I trimmed a lot of the fat from the pancetta beforehand, which I would recommend doing for two reasons: 1) it reduces the amount of gross fats and oils that you have to drain from the dish before serving, and 2) it’s healthier and tastes better.
Given that this is quite a rich and fatty way to cook meat, I’ve paired it with a simple salad of spinach, walnuts, roasted pumpkin, sweet potato, and parsnip. The earthy flavours of root vegetables do well to detract from the saltiness of the pancetta, while the spinach provides a nice freshness to the dish. The walnuts are there for the crunch, of course. You could also use pecans, which would be a bit more autumn-y, but unfortunately I didn’t have any at the time.
To finish this dish, I dressed the salad with some raspberry vinegar. Fruit flavoured vinegars are a complete cooking revelation. In my pantry, I have raspberry, fig, and orange vinegar, and let me tell you, they can really take a dish to the next level. Whether you’re using them to dress a salad, or adding a little bit to your casserole, they bring a whole new level of sharpness and acidity that surprises and delights your palette.
If you can’t find any fruit vinegars, you can always use a regular balsamic (I sound a bit like Ina Garten now don’t I? Store bought is fine). Included below is a picture *without* vinegar just in case you can’t imagine what the dish would look like without it. Still good!
If you’re me, you’ll eat this while reading French literature. Although, to be honest, most of the books pictured above are ones that I read at uni and really didn’t like (the romance and decadence periods just do not appeal to my literary tastes). At the moment I’m reading old Agatha Christie novels in French, which are a bit lighter and more enjoyable. While you’re reading/eating, perhaps you’d like to listen to Corinne Bailey Rae’s latest album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers. I was obsessed with this album last winter and I’m enjoying revisiting it again this year.
As always, leave me a comment and let me know what you thought of this recipe. Or anything else mentioned in this post, be it literature, music, vinegar…whatevs.