What’s better than roasted pork? How about roasted pork wrapped in crisp bacon? I know. That’s kind of what I thought, too. (Pig x 2!).
This is so simple, but so delicious. (This is one of my favorite roast beasts, along with my Deli-Style Roast Beef.)
With most pigs bred as lean as they are these days, pork can dry out in the oven. One way around that? Why, cover it in a fattier part of the pig, so that the molten bacon fat bastes the roast as it cooks. Problem solved.
This pork roast is slathered in a handful of fresh, mashed garlic, enrobed in thick slices of bacon, sprinkled with freshly cracked pepper and rosemary, then roasted for just over an hour.
The result is mouthwateringly delicious. The bacon is crispy. The pork is juicy and fragrant with garlic. The whole thing was great and we ate entirely too much of it. And talk about a happy ending: The leftovers made killer sandwiches.
Bacon & Garlic Encrusted Roast Pork Loin: A note on meat
For the pork, note that I’m talking about a pork loin hereï¿½not a tenderloin, which is considerably smaller and thinner.
4-lb. pork loin
I also used a mix of regular bacon and Black Forest bacon that I found in the deli case at Whole Foods. Black Forest bacon is smokier, darker, and a little bit sweet. I’m in love with the stuff since I used it to make a smokey asparagus salad.
Black Forest bacon from Whole Foods
Should I add any salt?
Whether you add any salt to the meat before roasting is up to you. Just keep in mind that the bacon will add quite a bit to the dish on its own.
What temperature should you cook pork to?
Good question. (And one with a few different answers.)
The USDA recommends that you cook pork to a minimum of 160 degrees. That said, some folks say that you can yank it out of the oven before then, like this maple-glazed pork roast that comes out of the oven at 135 degrees, then rests to 150 degrees.
Bottom line, cook your meat to the temperature that makes you comfortable. When in doubt, be sure you hit 160 degrees.
Bacon & Garlic Encrusted Roast Pork Loin
1 pork loin, about 4 lbs.
7 cloves garlic, mashed
7-8 slices bacon
kosher salt, optional
freshly cracked black pepper
2 tsp. rosemary
Bacon & Garlic Encrusted Roast Pork Loin: Prep the meat
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Line a sheet or roasting pan with foil and fit with a roasting rack. Set it aside.
Then mash up the garlic.
I use a garlic press to do this. You could also chop it up finely or slice it really super thin.
Set your pork roast down, fat-side up. Cover it with the mashed garlic.
With your hand, spread the garlic over the entire surface of the pork.
Sprinkle the pork with kosher salt, if you like. Then, starting at one end, lay the bacon across the top of the pork roast.
Overlap the slices slightly, as bacon shrinks as it cooks. I alternated slices of regular bacon and Black Forest bacon.
Tuck the ends of the bacon under the pork roast, so you have a neat little bacon-wrapped package.
Sprinkle with freshly cracked black pepper.
Set the pork on your roasting rack, keeping the ends of the bacon tucked underneath the meat.
Sprinkle with rosemary. Dried or fresh, either will do. I used dried because that’s what I had in the house.
Bacon & Garlic Encrusted Roast Pork Loin: Roast the pork on high heat
Pop the pan into your pre-heated 450 degree oven and roast for 15 minutes.
Bacon & Garlic Encrusted Roast Pork Loin: Drop the heat to 375 and finish roasting
After 15 minutes, your roast should look about like this, with the bacon just starting to crisp up on the edges:
Drop the heat to 375 and continue to roast for another 50-60 minutes, until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees on a meat thermometer. Your final roasting time will depend on the size and shape of your pork loin.
The bacon will crisp up nicely and look about like this:
Bacon & Garlic Encrusted Roast Pork Loin: Tent the roast
When your roast registers 150 degrees on a meat thermometer, yank the pan out of the oven. Tent a piece of foil over it for about 15 minutes. While the roast rests under the foil, the temperature should rise to 160 degrees.
Bacon & Garlic Encrusted Roast Pork Loin: Carve, serve & enjoy!
When your roast has rested and registers 160 degrees, transfer it to a serving platter. Carve it into thick slices and enjoy!