Guest Post: Tim and Pork-Wrapped Pork!

April 9, 2012

Hi Readers–I thought this guest post would be a perfect follow up to Alexandra’s post, considering that her grandmother used a cast-iron skillet. I don’t own one, but after reading Tim’s recipe (pork wrapped in bacon–oh yeah!) and now I’ll know how to correctly season my skillet,  too.

Please give Tim a warm welcome! I was so glad he offered to guest post, as I’m healing slower than hoped. I thought I’d be hauling rocks and shit by now, dammit!

Hope to be back and catching up soon. I love you.


How To Break In An Iron Skillet

If you’re like millions of Americans, then you grew up eating food that was prepared in cast iron skillets. For many home cooks, there’s nothing sweeter than new iron cookware, and there are few items in your kitchen that represent a better investment.

The temptation, of course, is to use your new iron cookware straightaway. Unfortunately, your results will be poor and you stand a good chance of ruining your new item before you’ve really had a chance to properly use it. Whether you have skillets, griddles, or Dutch ovens, longevity, ease-of-use, and flavor will all be greatly enhanced by following a few tips.

Seasoning Your New Iron Skillet

Preparing your cast iron skillet for use is as important as how to properly care for it after it has been seasoned and used for years. Here’s how to get started.

What you will need

  • Paper towels
  • Lard


  1. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In the meantime, wash your new cast iron skillet in hot water. You can use a mild detergent but it’s best to just use hot water. This step is done to remove any debris or rust-proof coating applied by the maker. Wipe the cookware dry with a paper towel.
  3. A thick coating of lard is required for proper seasoning to take place. Use a paper towel (folded into quarters) to apply a generous amount of lard to the entire interior surface of the pan. Be generous. Continue applying lard to the handle and the exterior surface of the skillet. Note: Do not put any lard on the exterior bottom of the skillet. This will cause it to smoke whenever it comes into contact with a heat source.
  4. Place the skillet on a center rack inside your oven and set your kitchen timer for three hours.
  5. After three hours have passed, turn off the oven and let the skillet cool until it can be touched with your bare hand without burning.
  6. With a clean paper towel, wipe down the skillet leaving behind just a thin coat of lard on the surface.
  7. A second wipe will most likely be required, but it’s best to do this once the skillet has cooled entirely. Simply wipe again with a clean paper towel.

The low temperature inside the oven opens the pores of the skillet and allows the lard to seep in. This process keeps the cooking surface relatively non-stick.

Maintaining Your Seasoned Skillet

  1. Once seasoned, your new cast iron skillet is ready for use. It is recommended to cook something nice and fatty on the maiden journey. Bacon or sausage is ideal.
  2. Never use harsh detergents on a seasoned skillet. Many home cooks simply use paper towels or soft kitchen towels to wipe their skillets clean after use.
  3. Should you find a bit of food stuck to the surface, salt works perfectly as an abrasive. Simply use a paper towel to move the salt in a circular motion. Apply just enough force to remove cooked-on food.
  4. Every few years you can re-season your skillet without any adverse effect.

A properly seasoned and maintained cast iron skillet can last for generations. In fact, many have been passed down from family member to family member for decades. Protect your cast iron investment right from the start with a proper seasoning and enjoy fine skillet cooking for many years to come.

Tim has always found cooking in an iron skillet makes some of the best food EVER.  In fact the other day at Cox Cable Deals He made some amazing Seared Ribeyes using bacon grease. Anyways if you would like to talk food with Tim hit him up on Twitter.  @TimlCooley

Bacon Wrapped Pork Tender Loin (with an Iron skillet)


1 Package – Bacon

1 Pork Tender Loin

2 TBS Fennel Seeds

Sea or Kosher Salt



Iron Skillet

Extra Pan (that can fit inside the skillet)



Small Bowl

Step 1

Remove the tendon part of the pork tender loin.  Use a sharp knife to cut it off.  Once the tendon is removed slice the pork in slices the width of your bacon.  This can give you anywhere from 8 to 12 slices depending on the bacon width and the size of the tender loin.

Step 2

After the Skillet is complete heated cook the fennel seeds.  Don’t let them burn by moving them around.  Once they heated up use the extra pan to smash them, do the smashing while they are not on the heat. After they are smashed put them in a separate bowl to cool, add the salt and pepper and mix.

Step 3

Cook the bacon.  You do not want to completely cook the bacon at this point.  You want to basically get it heated up and have it start shrinking, probably about 1/3 the way completely cooked.  Leave the bacon grease in the pan.

Step 4

Wrap the bacon around the sliced pork tender loin.  Use the toothpicks to secure the bacon in place.

Step 5

After the bacon is secured, use the tongs to place the tender loin in the skillet.  Using your fingers, take a pinch of the fennel, salt and paper mixture and grind it over top of the tenderloins.  Depending on the thickness of your tenderloin flip the pork at 5 to 7 minutes. Add more of the feenel, salt and pepper mixture if you would like.  Cook the remaining side until done.  If you would like your bacon to crisp up a bit then you can lay the pork on its side and cook the bacon, I find this really helpful where the bacon over laps.

Step 6

Serve with a side of applesauce and green beans or whatever else you would like!

I hope you enjoy this recipe.

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Jane April 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm

Having recently purchased my first iron skillet I’m on the hunt for perfect recipes. Thanks for nudging me to hoist it out of my cabinet. (Where it has resided since I purchased it over a month ago. The shame.)


Alexandra April 9, 2012 at 4:55 pm

I am going to make this tonight. My boys are so excited!


Jennifer April 10, 2012 at 9:20 am

I just got rid of my stove that had a ceramic cook top and traded it for the old coil type burners (we can’t have gas at our house, boo) just so that I could use my iron skillets. I love them.


Arnebya April 10, 2012 at 10:15 am

Wrap your pork. In pork! Holy crap I’m hungry now. And yes, I can’t ever not tout the benefits of cast iron. They’re all I use (outside of a few glass pots). Only one of my pots is seasoned, though; maybe I’ll consider doing a couple of others. I do leave a thin layer of olive oil in them after I’ve washed them, though.


Tinne from Tantrums and Tomatoes April 11, 2012 at 4:54 am

An iron skillet is one of the things on my birhtdaygift wish list. (I know I have my birhtday in July but you can never start a list to soon)


TKW April 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm


I have tried to reply to several of your posts but it’s not working? Not sure if it’s me or if it’s you, but I wanted you to know that I am still reading! I am sooooo mad!


TKW April 11, 2012 at 3:13 pm


I’m going out to buy a cast-iron skillet just for this dish! Thank you so much for guest posting!


Liz @ PeaceLoveGuac April 11, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Oooh boy, I would eat cardboard if it were wrapped in bacon.

TKW, hope you’re feeling a little better. Hugs!


Biz April 13, 2012 at 8:43 am

I’ve bought all my cast iron skillets at garage sales – even when completely rusted they can be brought back. I used my husband’s hand sander to sand away all the rust, then follow the directions as stated in this post – nothing like cooking in cast iron!

Hope you feel better soon KW!


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