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Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Pears and Fennel

Number of servings (yield): 6-8

This dish celebrates pork in all its glory. Prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin is completely transformed after roasting. Important note – whatever you do, do not trim the fat from your prosciutto – it will melt into the pork to give it that extra pop of flavor your taste buds are looking for. Oh, and let’s not forget about the roasted produce. The pears, fennel and shallots caramelize and become tender and sweet to complement the subtle saltiness of the prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin. Buon Appetito!

Ingredients
Brine and Pork
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • ¼ cup light brown sugar
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3 pounds trimmed center-cut pork loin
Roast
  • 1 large fennel bulb (about 1 pound), trimmed, quartered, and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 medium-ripe Bartlett pears, cored and quartered lengthwise
  • 2 large shallots (about ¼ pound), peeled and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced Prosciutto di Parma
  • Kitchen twine
Instructions

At least 4 hours (up to 8 hours) ahead of time, brine the pork:

Mix the salt and sugar with 1 cup of the water in large glass bowl. Cover and microwave until the sugar and salt dissolve, about 1 minute. Whisk in the remaining 3 cups water. Add the pork so that it’s completely submerged, cover and refrigerate.

For the roast:

Heat the oven to 400˚F and set an oven rack to the center position.

In a medium bowl, toss the fennel, pears and shallots with 1 teaspoon thyme, ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper and 1 Tablespoon of the oil. Scatter on the bottom of a 9×13-inch baking dish.

Remove the pork from the brine, and pat dry with paper towels. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon thyme and wrap with the prosciutto, overlapping the slices, passing them under and over the meat. Tie the pork in 4 or 5 places with kitchen twine.

Brush the prosciutto with the remaining 1 Tablespoon oil and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme.

Roast the pork 45-60 minutes depending on thickness, rotating the pan front-to-back after 15 minutes, until the pork becomes medium firm to the touch and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loin registers 140˚F (start checking after 30 minutes).

Remove the pork from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes. Pour the vegetables and any accumulated juices into a large measuring cup. Spoon off and discard any fat. Slice the pork into ½-inch pieces and serve with the pear-sauce mixture spooned over the meat.

Cooking time: 45-60 minutes
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