Monday, June 26, 2017

Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Summer Squash Succotash

[FTC Standard Disclaimer]  This post is sponsored by Smithfield's line of Marinated Fresh Pork products.  Any stated opinions are my own.

Summer time is here and that means time for some of the best vegetables of the year.  Summer can also mean chaotic schedules but that doesn't mean you don't have time to make a quick dinner like this Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Summer Squash Succotash.

Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork #RealFlavorRealFast

I was able to get this done in about 30 minutes because I used Smithfield's Hardwood Smoked Bacon and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Tenderloin for the main course.  They already did the prep work for me, including that bacon crust.  I didn't have to do anything other than take it out of the package and roast it.

Since Smithfield uses only 100% fresh pork in these products, we wanted to use the freshest vegetables.  So we headed to the Farmers Market in Maryville, Tennessee to see what the local farms had to offer.

We ended up buying corn (not all of it!), yellow squash, yellow and green zucchini, bell pepper, sweet onion, and some small variety tomatoes.

Normally I lean towards contrasting flavors but Alexis had the idea to echo the tastes of hardwood smoked bacon and cracked black pepper in our succotash.  She was absolutely right because this was perfect together. The roasted tomatoes brought it all together with their sweet, slightly acidic flavor brightening the entire dish. 

Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Summer Squash Succotash #RealFlavorRealFast

Bacon Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Summer Squash Succotash


  • Smithfield Hardwood Smoked Bacon and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Tenderloin
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 6 slices Smithfield Hometown Original Sliced Bacon, chopped
  • 2 cups Summer squash, cut into 1/2" cubes
  • 1 cup diced sweet onion
  • 1 cup fire roasted corn kernels (about 2 ears or 1 can, drained)
  • 1/3 cup fire roasted red bell pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper


  1. Set up your grill for indirect cooking and preheat it to 425°f (medium-high heat).
  2. Fire roast the tomatoes and pork.  Lightly coat the tomatoes with a small amount (1/2 teaspoon or so) of olive oil and season with kosher salt.  Place on a small roasting pan.  Place the pan and the Smithfield pork tenderloin on the grill, close the lid and roast until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140°f - about 25 to 30 minutes.  Meanwhile make the succotash.
  3. Preheat a heavy bottom skillet over medium-low heat on a grill side burner or stove top.  Add the chopped bacon and cooked until the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes.  Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon to a paper towel lined plate.  Remove all but 2-3 tablespoons of rendered bacon fat.
  4. Add the squash and onion and season with salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.  
  5. Add the corn and bell pepper, stir to mix in and cook until warmed through, about 1-2 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adjust with salt and pepper as desired.  Remove from heat and garnish with bacon crumbles.
  6. Remove the tomatoes and Smithfield pork tenderloin from heat and allow to rest for 5 minutes. 
  7. Slice the tenderloin and serve with the roasted tomatoes and Summer squash succotash.


  • Hardwood Smoked Bacon and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Tenderloin - This actually also goes well with Smithfield's Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Tenderloin as well.  They have expanded their marinated fresh products to include a wide variety of fresh cuts, including pork roasts, loin filets, sirloins, pork chops and tenderloins, and can be sliced or cubed for even faster cooking. 

  • Summer squash blend - We ended up using the yellow and green zucchini but you can use whatever is fresh and in season.

Fresh pork and fresh veggies - hard to go wrong there.

You can buy fire roasted corn on the canned vegetable aisle now and jarred fire roasted red bell peppers are available as well.  I prefer to do my own and grilled these on a gas powered infrared grill.

How to remove corn from the cob
With normal sized ears, you get about 1/2 cup of corn per ear.

I fire roasted mine on a kamado style grill but you can use a kettle grill, gas grill, pellet cooker, or even your oven.  The typical indirect set up for a kamado grill is like this, with a plate setter or heat deflector between the meat and the hot coals. Obviously you take the meat out of the package, this is just for demonstration purposes.

That set up works fine.  But what works even better is to use a raised rack on your grill or the upper rack of your oven.  Positioning the meat higher up in the grill will let you use the heat reflecting down from the grill lid to do a better job of crisping that bacon on top of the roast.  Here I used a simple homemade raised rack consisting of a spare grill grate and 4 legs made out of bolts, nuts, and washers.

The bacon in the crust is already hardwood smoked but I used natural hardwood lump coal for fire roasting the pork tenderloin to reinforce the smokiness.

When you put the tenderloin on the grill, make sure that the bacon crust is facing upwards.  It will be obvious which side is the bacon crust once you open the package.  That's parchment paper under the tomatoes, I use it for easier clean up.  I used Korean sea salt on the tomatoes because I like the huge flakes but kosher salt works fine.

Mise en place (aka "mess in place") makes your cooking easier.  You can have all of this prepped out the night before and save even more time.

Side burners on grills tend to run hotter than stove top burners, so it helps greatly to use a heavy bottom pan like this cast iron pan.  

Tip:  If you want to take the Smithfield Hardwood Smoked Bacon and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Tenderloin to the next level, spritz it every 10 minutes with an 8:1 mixture of apple juice and bourbon.  The sweet smoky flavor rocks with the bacon and black pepper.

Summer Squash Succotash recipe
You can just stir yours but I like to toss the veggies to get that rendered bacon and seasoning all over them.

recipe ideas summer squash and or zucchini
Once your squash is just starting to turn tender, it is time to add the other veggies.  It took right at 5 minutes for mine but it could take as long as 8.

Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork #RealFlavorRealFast
Mmmmm crispy bacon.  Fire roasting the tomatoes makes them tender and concentrates their naturally sweet taste.

Summer squash zucchini succotash
The general rule of thumb is that eating a color variety of vegetables is good for you so this must be a multi-vitamin! 

Handle the roast carefully when taking it off.  I recommend using a long spatula instead of tongs because squeezing the tongs can break off pieces of the crust.

Smithfield Marinated Fresh Pork #RealFlavorRealFast
I surprised myself that I was able to get this done in 30 minutes.  I'm notorious for dragging out dinner and eating at 8pm.
Here's another idea for using their Marinated Fresh Pork products. 

Smithfield is also challenging you to see what you can do with Marinated Fresh Pork to get a flavorful meal ready in about 30 minutes with their “Real Flavor, Real Fast” contest. For more 30-minute meal preparation ideas, and to submit your original tip for a chance to win great prizes, head to

Addendum:  I'm proud to have made it through an entire post about succotash without saying that word which rhymes with buffering.