Anthony Bourdain's version of a bacon explosion is more of a bacon implosion. Last weekend, I made the Mignons de porc a l'ail from Anthony Bourdain's Les Halles Cookbook, or at least I would have if I hadn't managed to mess it up on almost every step. Fortunately there's only so wrong you can go with porkloin, bacon, and garlic confit, so GM and I ate it all anyway.
1 small bottle of Christopher Ranch peeled garlic
lots of leftover bacon fat from the back of the fridge
In a small pan, warm the bacon grease until melted. While it's melting, check over the garlic cloves, removing any questionable bits and the woody brown tops. When the bacon fat is warm carefully dump the cloves in. The fat should cover the cloves by a little bit. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until the cloves are very soft, about 20 minutes. When soft, remove the cloves from fat and place in two bowls. Save half the cloves whole for the sauce. Mash the other half of the cloves with fork into a paste. Pour the leftover garlic scented bacon fat into a jar, label and place in fridge for some future project. It's worth keeping, trust me.
1 little (about a pound?) pork loin from Trader Joe's.
8-10 slices of Dittmer's bacon
Slice the pork loin long ways, then slice each half in half, also long ways. You now have four long skinny slabs of pork loin. If you really like salt, or made your garlic confit with olive oil, salt the pork loin gently. using clean fingers or the tool of your choice, slather the pieces of pork loin with the garlic paste. Lay out the four pieces of pork loin on a large piece of saran-wrap, flipping the pieces around until it's as even a thickness as you can get. Place one piece of bacon in between each piece of pork loin. Put the remaining slices of bacon longways around the outside of the porkroll. Roll the pork loin up into a tube shape, using the saran-wrap to get it as tight was possible. Place in fridge for as long as you can. (Mr. Bourdain said overnight, but I was on a deadline and got in an hour or two, I think.)
Remove the FrankenPork from the fridge, and unwrap on a cutting board. Find your kitchen twine. Cut off a piece long enough to tie (like a bracelet) around the FrankenPork. Tie off about 1.5 inches of FrankenPork and slice to separate. Repeat until you run out of FrankenPork. You now have 4-8 little circles of FrankenPork lying like unpressed flowers on your cutting board. They sort of look like celtic crosses.
Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Get out a sheet pan fitted with a rack, like you were going to bake bacon with Alton Brown.
1 tablespoon/14 ml olive oil
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup/56 ml white wine, and then another 1/4 cup/56 ml white wine
1/2 cup Swanson's chicken broth with some demi glacee
1 sprig of flat parsley, finely chopped
Put a skillet on the stove and melt some butter and olive oil in it. When the butter stops foaming, add the little pork bundles to the pan, working in batches so as not to overcrowd the pan. Cook the pork over high heat for about 6-8 minutes per side, after which the meat should be nicely browned. Place the meat in the roasting pan and finish cooking in the oven for about 20 minutes. When cooked through, but still moist in the center, remove from the oven and allow to rest on a plate.
In that pan of bacon grease and garlicy bits, add the wine, and cook down to almost nothing, after you realized you were supposed to put teh shallots in first. Add the shallots and cook for 2 minutes, or until the shallots are soft. Stir in the wine, scraping the bottom to dislodge the fond. Cook over high heat until the wine is reduced to a glaze consistency, then stir in the stock. Cook over high heat until it's reduced by half. Add any drippings from the plate that's holding your cooked pork, as well as whatever's in the bottom of the roasting pan. Add remaining cloves of garlic confit (I mashed it all together to make it more sauce-like) and the parsley.
With kitchen scissors, snips the twine holding the pork flowers together. Serve. Cover with sauce and eat.
GM thinks we should tie the FrankenPork off with strips of prosciutto next time, instead of using string. Maybe.