Pork tenderloin sliders
First Place, Courtesy of Gail Oden, Etowah County
Start-to-finish: 1 hour, 15 minutes
2½-pound pork tenderloin, fat trimmed
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
20 slider buns or dinner rolls, split apart
For bacon and sweet onion jam
4 uncooked bacon slices
1 tablespoon butter
2 medium-sized sweet onions, chopped
4 large shallots, chopped
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2½ teaspoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
Heat oven to 400 F. Rub tenderloin with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Stir together brown sugar, mustard, thyme and rosemary and rub over tenderloin.
Cook pork in remaining 2 tablespoons hot oil in skillet over medium heat for 5 minutes, browning on all sides.
Place a wire rack in a jelly roll pan and set tenderloin on top. Bake for 20 minutes or until thermometer registers 155 F. Remove and let stand for 10 minutes. Thinly slice and serve on buns with bacon and sweet onion jam.
While the tenderloin is cooking, cook bacon in a medium skillet until crisp.
Remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Reserve drippings in skillet.
Add butter to drippings and stir until butter melts. Increase heat to medium and add onions. Saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add shallots, vinegar, salt and sugar.
Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes or until onions are tender and brown. Remove from heat and stir in chives, thyme and bacon.