This fabulous Bacon-wrapped Pork Tenderloin with roasted fennel is the sheet pan dinner of your dreams. The pork is tender, the bacon is salty, and the fennel soaks up the juices from both! It's also fancy enough for "company" and ready in an hour.
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, combine fennel, onion, salt, and pepper to taste (I like 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper). Drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss until evenly coated.
Arrange the fennel and onion on the prepared baking sheet, spaced out as much as possible. Roast for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, brush 1 pork tenderloin with half of the Dijon mustard. Sprinkle with half of the thyme, then wrap with 5 slices of bacon, slightly overlapping the slices until completely covered. Repeat with the second tenderloin using the remaining ingredients.
Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place wrapped pork tenderloins bacon-seam-side down and cook until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes. Turn over and cook the second side until golden brown, about 4 to 6 minutes more.
Remove the baking sheet from the oven and gently flip the fennel and onions. Nestle pork tenderloins among them and roast until the internal temperature of the pork reads 145 degrees on an instant read thermometer, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Allow the pork to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serve with the vegetables and garnish with reserved fennel fronds if desired.
Fennel bulbs: Also known as anise, fresh fennel bulbs reach peak season in the fall and winter. They taste subtly licorice-like, and as the fennel roasts, the flavor mellows out and complement the savory pork beautifully. Look for 1-pound bulbs, each of which yields about 14 ounces after trimming. If you are unable to find it, you can substitute fresh bok choy or fresh leek bulbs trim and cut into 1-inch pieces.
Pork tenderloin: Tenderloins are low in fat and small in size, about 10 to 12 inches long and consistently weighing about 1 pound each. When you are shopping, plan on 3 to 4 ounces per person. Pork roast can be used in place of the tenderloin, you will have to increase the roasting time.
Bacon: Depending on the size of the pork, allocate about 5 slices of bacon per tenderloin.
Yield: Two pork tenderloins serve 6 people with some leftovers.
Storage: Eat right away, and store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 3 to 4 days.
Make ahead: This is a quick dinner that doesn't need much in the way of advance prep, but you can get a small jump start. Wrap the pork in bacon, then refrigerate until you're ready to proceed with dinner prep. You can also chop and refrigerate the fennel and onions a few hours before you start cooking.
Toothpicks: If you find the bacon strips tend to slip, secure them to the pork using a couple of wooden toothpicks or a piece of butcher's twine.
Thermometer: A trustworthy digital thermometer can keep you on track when roasting meat, or cooking in general.