The Simpsons have been on TV for so long that entire books can be filled with quotes from that show. There are some that Steve and I use at least once every few months. There was the episode where their dog (Santa’s little helper) had to wear a dog collar and in one scene he runs out of a room, prompting grandpa to yell in his trembling voice: the lampshade’s running away! That one always makes us giggle.
One of my favorites is from an episode where the Simpsons go to a Costco-like store for the first time. The store is called the Monstromart and it’s a gigantic concrete block with the store’s motto at the entrance:”Where Shopping Is A Baffling Ordeal”. Marge is walking along one of the aisles when she spots a huge box of nutmeg. “Ooh, that’s a great price for twelve pounds of nutmeg,” she says appreciatively.
I thought of that quote the other day. We were going to have two friends over for dinner last weekend, so I thought I’d make this weekend porchetta recipe. It calls for pork tenderloin, the thin strip of tender meat that is along the pig’s spine, wrapped in bacon. It usually weighs around a pound. Since we would be four people, I went to FreshDirect and ordered two tenderloins.
Two days later, the delivery guy came with a box that seemed unusually heavy. It was when I opened it that I realized why. I had mistakenly ordered two pork loins, not tenderloins. Each loin weighed 7 pounds. So I now had enough meat to feed 28 people! I couldn’t even fit them in the fridge. In the end I broke the two loins down to boneless pork chops and roast pieces for 3-4 people and froze them individually. Our freezer is now chock full of pork.
So, if you do make this recipe, and you definitely should, make sure you get pork tenderloin, not loin. But do give this recipe a try. It’s easy to make, comes together in one roasting pan, and the result is incredibly flavorful and tender.
Weeknight Porchetta with Vegetables – Adapted from Bon Appétit
4 garlic cloves finely chopped or grated on microplane
1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, coarsely chopped
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Freshly ground black pepper
One 1-1½-lb. pork tenderloin
4 slices bacon
1 lb root vegetables (carrots, turnips, rutabagas), peeled and cut into 1″-1.5″ cubes
1 small head of fennel, core removed, cut into quarters
Preheat oven to 425°. Toss chopped garlic, chopped rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, and 1 Tbsp. oil in a small bowl; season with pepper.
Rub garlic mixture all over tenderloin (if you have time to do this in the morning, great; refrigerate pork until dinner) and place in a large baking dish. Wrap bacon slices around tenderloin, tucking ends underneath so bacon stays put. Drizzle everything with 1 Tbsp. oil.
In a large bowl, combine root vegetables, fennel, and 1 Tbsp. oil. Add salt and pepper and mix well using hands. Scatter vegetables on both sides of tenderloin in baking dish.
Roast, uncovered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into thickest part of tenderloin registers 145° for medium, 35–40 minutes. Transfer pork to a cutting board, tent with foil, and let rest 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with roasted vegetables.