Ah Valentine’s Day… a strage pseudo-holiday. As if digging out from Blizzard Nemo wasn’t stressful enough, now we have to up the romance quotient. Although I am not a big lover of Valentine’s Day, I do enjoy the sentiment of making special gestures for your loved ones.
I rarely go out to restaurants. This is due to a variety of factors, but mainly because I enjoy cooking and feel pretty gross after eating takeout. However, there is one restaurant that we frequent with some regularity. Old Magoun’s Saloon. Craig and I discovered this place a year ago and it has become our regular haunt. A constantly rotating selection of craft beers combined with amazing brunch and hands down the best chili I’ve ever tasted, we officially celebrate all birthdays and special occasions here and friends joke that it’s the only restaurant on planet earth.
The best part of Magouns are the rotating theme nights. Every month, Wednesday nights have a new theme. The January theme was bacon. Need I say more? Bacon chowder, bacon wontons, even bacon cocktails. But hands down was the bacon wrapped roasted pork loin. It was probably one of the tastiest things I have ever tried.
When I was in Texas visiting my grandparents, I tried to recreate this and had a lot of success. We all really enjoyed it. So I decided it was the perfect Valentine’s treat for Craig. I made a few adjustments and was thrilled with the result. The bacon gets all crispy and the pears and onions add some contrast to the pork. It’s yummy and filling and a perfect “special” dinner. Craig enjoyed this as meat wrapped in more meat is one of his favorite things.
NOTE: This recipe requires that you butterfly the pork loin so you can pound it out thin and then roll it. You can ask a butcher to do this for you or you can do it yourself. I was super nervous but it’s quite easy. I watched this video and used my sharpest knife. Check it out HERE.
- 2 cups of cornbread, cut into 1″ cubes
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary, washed and chopped
- 2 tbsp of fresh thyme, washed and chopped
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1.5lb pork loin (butterflied – you can ask a butcher to do this for you)
- 8-10 oz thick cut uncured bacon
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 2 bosc pears, washed cored and chopped
- 2 cups of pealed pearl onions
- Allow cornbread to get stale overnight or toast in the oven
- Saute onion and celery in 1 tbsp olive oil until softened
- Toss cornbread chunks, onions, celery with rosemary, thyme and black pepper in a bowl, set aside
- On a large cutting board or other surface, pound butterflied pork loin with a mallet or tenderizer. The goal is to get the meat to an even thickness
- Remove pork and lay 6-8 pieces of kitchen string across surface in 2-3″ increments
- Lay bacon strips on top of the pieces of string, making sure each strip touches the next
- Lay flattened pork loin on top of bacon and string the long way
- Layer stuffing across the pork loin in an even layer, leaving a 1″ margin on all sides. There may be a bit of leftover stuffing
- Carefully roll pork loin around the stuffing
- As you roll the loin, wrap the bacon pieces lying below each section and secure with the string
- Season with salt and pepper and tuck sprigs of rosemary under the string
- Arrange in a roasting pan, surrounded by sliced pears and pearl onions.
- Roast at 425 until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit
- Allow roast to rest, covered with foil, for at least 20 minutes
- Slice into 1-2″ slices, remove string and serve with pan juices and pear/onion mixture