Todays post is a very exciting one! Even if you don’t live in Kentucky, you know the significance of bourbon in our state. Aside from housing more barrels of bourbon than people (true story), Kentucky is home to many amazing restaurants, one of which is Varanese restaurant on Frankfort Avenue, in Louisville, KY. Owner and Executive Chef John Varanese was kind enough to give me his recipe for Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Bourbon Chutney to share with you all! Chef Varanese is an expert on cooking with bourbon and we are so lucky that he chose to share one of his coveted recipes with us!! Derby is less than a week away and the only thing on my mind other than cooking…is bourbon.
Many world class chefs choose to set roots in Louisville due to the growing independent and eclectic dining scene, and Chef Varanese is no exception. One of the things I appreciate most about him is his unwavering dedication to local farmers. I am a huge advocate for buying local and was thrilled to learn that he has the same philosophy. He even has his own show where he visits various farms to find out where our food comes from. How cool is that?! Varanese restaurant is also an official stop on the Urban Bourbon Trail, and they house over 50 types of bourbon at their bar offering bourbon flights as well as cocktails. If you have family coming to visit Louisville and you want to show them the cuisine we have to offer, take them to Varanese.
Lets talk about this recipe for a minute. I love that this meal has a gourmet restaurant feel, but is so easy for the home cook to master. The bourbon cherry chutney…..is out of this WORLD. I may just have to make a big batch of it and slather it on any recipe I can find.
I paired the deliciousness of the pork with a Goat Cheese and Butternut Squash Gratin. This meal has the perfect fall feel and it was a pleasure getting to recreate such an awesome recipe!
- 1 lb pork tenderloin
- ¼ lb bacon
- ground smoked salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
- Season the pork loin with salt and pepper.
- Lay out strips of bacon slightly overlapping and roll the Tenderloin covering it with the bacon. Season the bacon with the smoked salt and pepper.
- Sear pork in a hot pan with oil, turning to make sure all sides are seared.
- Transfer to oven and roast until internal temperature is to your liking, approximately 145 degrees fahrenheit.
- ¼ cup dried cherries
- 2 oz bourbon
- ½ cup sorghum
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup water
- In a small sauce pan, stir together all ingredients except cherries.
- Heat mixture on medium heat and simmer for about 15 minutes.
- When the mixture thickens add cherries and cook for 5 more minutes.
- Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
- Serve drizzled over the top of your bacon wrapped pork tenderloin.
- 7 pounds butternut squash (Peeled, seeded, and sliced very thin)
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 pound goat cheese
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan
- Peel, seed, and thinly slice the squash.
- Place the heavy cream and half and half in a sauce pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk in goat cheese and remove from heat.
- Place the squash in a baking dish and pour the goat cheese sauce over the entire pan.
- Cover with foil and bake at 400 degrees fahrenheit for 1 hour.
- Remove foil, cover in parmesan and bake for another 5 min.
- Cut and serve.