Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Plum Sauce & Roasties

This is a really scrumptious alternative to a roast – the rich flavour of the meat is complemented by aromatic thyme & rosemary, and goes deliciously with the sweet, tangy plum sauce. This dish is really pretty simple, too – just make sure you leave enough time for it to cook, and remember that you’ll need to start the potatoes in advance if you’re making roasties.

1 pork tenderloin (about 500g)
4-5 rashers of thin-cut bacon
A couple of cloves of garlic
4-5 plums
A glug of red wine
About 300ml beef stock
A tablespoon of brown sugar
Half an onion
2 big potatoes
Lard, to roast

Serves 3-4, depending on how hungry you are.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C. Start off by sorting out your potatoes – peel and chop into rough chunks, and then boil in a small pan with a pinch of salt for about ten minutes. Drain them and then, holding the lid on firmly, give the pan a really good shake to fluff up the edges of the potatoes (this is what makes them go crispy). Next, pop your roasting tin on top of the hob and put in a couple of generous dabs of lard. As they start to melt, tip the tray (using oven gloves, of course!) so that the base is evenly covered. When the melted lard starts to smoke a bit, take the pan off the heat and add the potatoes – carefully, because if you do it too quickly, the lard might splash. Stick the roasting tin straight in the oven and set a timer for an hour.

When there are about forty minutes left on the clock, it’s time to prepare the meat. You’ll probably want to cut the pork tenderloin into two pieces, so that it fits in your saucepans. Score the top of the meat with a sharp knife, and sprinkle well with olive oil, thyme and rosemary. Peel and chop the garlic and tuck a few pieces into the cuts on top of the meat, then wrap the whole thing in the bacon slices. Leave to one side.

Now it’s time to make your plum sauce. Remove the stones from the plums and chop them into small pieces, and slice the onion finely. Pop the onion into a small pan with a drizzle of olive oil and let it sizzle gently, so that it softens but doesn’t turn brown. After a couple of minutes, add the plums and the brown sugar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved and gone all gooey. Then, add a generous splash of red wine and about 200ml beef stock (don’t forget, stock should be made with boiling water). Turn the heat up and leave the lid off, but keep an eye on it – the fruit should start breaking down straight away, and the liquid should bubble away to leave a thick, almost jam-like consistency. Once this happens, you need to turn the heat right down and pop a lid on.

Put a griddle pan (or frying pan, if you haven’t got a griddle pan) on a medium heat and let it warm up a bit, then pop the meat in. At this stage, you just want to brown it a bit on each side. Once that’s done, transfer it into a casserole dish. When there are about twenty minutes left on the timer, put the casserole dish into the bottom of the oven, underneath the potatoes. Leave the lid off, so that the bacon goes crispy on the top.
When the timer goes off, everything should be ready – slice the pork (check that it’s done inside to your satisfaction) and top with a generous spoonful of plum sauce, then add a pile of golden roast potatoes on the side. Scrumptious!