Spiced Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Squash & Apples

“This tastes like Fall!”

That’s what Mike said about this recipe, which is exactly what I was going for.

Cinnamon, brown sugar, and nutmeg. Salty bacon and tender pork. Sweet squash and apples. I’d say this is Autumn in a Pan, and is completely Thanksgiving-worthy.

Make the bacon-wrapped pork the night before, and you can easily throw everything in the pan and cook it while you entertain guests. A meat thermometer (get one here) ensures perfect doneness and no need to poke and prod at the meat.

Use a large roasting pan if you like, to fit more vegetables. My home was filled with the scent of cinnamon and apples…I buy candles that smell like this!

I served the pork and squash with rice that got a big spoonful of the cooking sauce over the top. Or add sliced potatoes to the pan for a one-pot meal.

No candle necessary for festiveness! Have I mentioned how glad I am it’s Fall/Autumn/Festive Food Time/Good Hair Weather?

Spiced Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Squash & Apples

for the roast:

  • 2 pounds whole pork tenderloin (2 loins)
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 wooden skewers, cut to 4-5 inches long

for the vegetables:

  • 1 sweet dumpling squash, seeded and cut into wedges
  • 1 large red delicious apple, cored and cut into chunks
  • 2-3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • juice of 1/4 lemon

for the glaze:

  • 2 large garlic cloves, cut into small pieces
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 425°F (400°F convection).

Set roasts out on counter for 30 minutes before preparing. Rub roasts all over with chili powder, oregano, salt and pepper. Use skewers to hold roasts together. Wrap bacon slices, one at a time, around pork, ends on the bottom, slices slightly overlapping. Lightly oil a large skillet, and place pork in center of pan. If desired, sear off bottom of roast over medium heat while you slice the vegetables.

Carefully cut the squash into wedges, using the ridges as a guide. Cut the apple into large chunks (peel if desired). In a large zip-top bag, add squash and apple and toss with canola oil, cinnamon, and lemon. Add to the pan with the pork roast, insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part and transfer to the oven.

Meanwhile, prepare the glaze. Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and simmer over low heat, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens and bubbles form but pop slowly, 30-45 minutes. Strain out garlic (yield about 1/2 cup sauce). Pour over the top of the roast and vegetables about halfway through cooking.

Roast 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until an internal temperature of 135°F is reached. Broil 5 minutes if needed to brown the bacon. Enjoy!


Fall Harvest Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

Today we’re back to basics with a wonderful chicken recipe. Sweet dumpling, acorn or butternut squash, take your pick of what’s available now!

Or use red potatoes, carrots…whatever suits your fancy. Squash and little potatoes are so festive!

You can spatchcock the chicken to reduce cooking time…here’s a good photo tutorial on how to do this.

But otherwise, this is just about seasonings and oven time. The chicken comes out so juicy and delicious!

Butter on the chicken’s skin is a must for me…makes the skin crispy and keeps the meat moist.

A good drizzle of olive oil, some fresh herbs and you’re all set!

Harvest Roast Chicken 2

Fall Harvest Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

  • 1 whole fryer chicken, 3 1/2-4 pounds (remove the bag of gizzards)
  • 1 sweet dumpling or acorn squash (about the size of a softball), cut into 8 slices
  • 8 small potatoes (such as red potatoes)
  • 1 shallot, peeled and quarter
  • 8-10 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 10 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 tablespoon paprika
  • 1/2 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1-2 cups chicken broth or water (enough to cover the bottom of your pan)
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Rinse the chicken with water and pat dry. Spatchcock if desired (see link above).

Rub chicken all over with coriander and paprika; place in a large roasting pan. Squeeze lemon over the chicken, then put the lemon half, 2 garlic cloves, and 2-3 sprigs of thyme in body cavity. Cover the top with pats of butter.

Arrange the shallot, squash, potatoes, garlic, and thyme sprigs around the chicken. Drizzle the vegetables with olive oil, and sprinkle everything generously with salt and pepper. Grind nutmeg over the top of everything.

Pour in enough chicken stock or water to cover the bottom of the pan. Insert thermometer probe into thickest part of breast meat (optional, but best for optimal results). Cover tightly with a lid or foil, and bake 45 minutes covered.

Uncover and cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, skin is crispy, and vegetables are soft and browned slightly. (You can use your broiler for a few minutes to brown the skin if needed.)

Let the meat rest in the pan for a few minutes before slicing, discarding thyme sprigs. Enjoy!

Beef Goulash Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash

Mmmm, acorn squash. The flesh gets sweet and creamy when roasted. But squash stuffed with savory goodness is even better! These warm the soul on a cool day.

Goulash is basically meat, potatoes and paprika, stewed with other spices and whatever else you fancy adding. Chunks of “stew meat” or “beef round chunks” are cheap and already cut up for you, all you need to do is cook the heck out of them.

Luckily, you have time because the acorn squash will take a while to roast (45-60 minutes).

The goulash will fill 4 squash halves to the brim, or two filled with extra on the plate (like I did, above).

Paprika can be replaced with chili powder for a little kick if you like. Or any ratio of paprika/chili powder will work too.

Also, there’s always debate over “flesh side up” or “flesh side down” when roasting squash. I always roast mine flesh side up, I like the color and flavor that develops. I’ve never had a problem with burning or drying out. So I’m team “flesh side up”, for all squash roasting!

I served the stuffed squash with toasted foccaica bread. If you eat gluten free, Udi’s makes delicious french rolls!

Stuffed Acorn Squash


Beef Goulash Stuffed Roasted Acorn Squash

  • 2 2-pound acorn squash (cantaloupe sized)
  • 1 pound stew meat (beef round chunks)
  • 1 cup broth (beef, chicken or vegetable will work fine)
  • 10 ounces red potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 1/2-2 teaspoons paprika, chili powder, or a combination thereof
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for squash
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup sour cream, more to taste
  • 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Using a very sharp knife, carefully cut squash in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. In a shallow pan or baking dish, drizzle flesh with olive oil and rub all over to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Bake for about an hour, or until squash is very soft when poked with a fork.

While squash bakes, prepare goulash:

Heat 2 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan; add onion and garlic and cook 2-3 minutes. Add meat, and sprinkle generously with salt. When meat is browned, add potatoes, paprika, and broth. Stir. Add thyme sprigs, pushing them down so they’re submerged. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, until squash is done. Taste broth at the end and add salt if needed.

Remove thyme sprigs and stir in sour cream right before serving. Spoon goulash into squash and sprinkle with cheese. Enjoy!