It’s late afternoon in a kitchen in a rambling stone farm house in Tuscany. You’ve been in the garden gathering fennel, garlic, onions, rosemary. Someone has poured you a glass of crisp, cold sparkling Prosecco. You’re preparing dinner. Arista is the traditional pork roast studded with garlic and rosemary and spit-roasted over hot coals. Porchetta is a nearly boneless whole suckling pig, rubbed with rosemary and stuffed with its own highly seasoned innards.
Tuscany is a wonderful dream. How lovely to create this state of mind in your own kitchen. This recipe is a easier than either of these traditional Tuscan dishes but with all the same gorgeous flavours.
PORK LOIN IN THE STYLE OF PORCHETTA
|PORK LOIN in the STYLE of PORCHETTA (Arista alla Porchetta)|| |
- 4 lb boneless pork loin roast, butterflied (have the butcher do this if you can't)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- A good splash of extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced (fronds reserved and chopped)
- 2 pounds ground pork
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 2 tbsp chopped fine fresh rosemary,
- ¼ tsp. red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage (do not use dry, omit if fresh unavailable)
- grated rind of lemon (save lemon to squeeze over finished pork)
- 6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 4 red onions halved
- Lay the pork loin out flat and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Set aside. If possible do this the night before and refrigerate until ready to use.
- In a saute pan add a a good splash of olive oil and over medium high heat saute the sliced onion and fennel until softened and lightly brown. About 10 minutes.
- Add the ground pork, fennel seeds, rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes, fresh sage, grated lemon and 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper.
- Cook stirring occasionally until the pork is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
- Transfer to a large bowl and allow to cool. (You could prepare this the day before, cover and refrigerate.)
- Preheat the oven to 425F.
- Add the fennel fronds (reserving some for garnish), the bread crumbs and eggs to the pork mixture and mix gently.
- Spread the mixture over the pork loin. You may have some of the mixture left over. Saute this mixture up briefly to serve later with the pork if desired.
- Roll up the pork loin starting from a long side and tie with butcher's twine. (Metal skewers help to hold the pork together)
- Place the red onions in a roasting pan and sprinkle with a little olive oil and set the pork on top.
- Roast for about l hour and l5 minutes or until the internal temperature is 135F. Watch closely as this roast cooks quickly at this temperature.
- Remove from the roasting pan and let rest lightly tented in tin foil for 10 minutes.
- Slice the pork into 1-inch-thick pieces.
- You may serve this with a gravy or simply drizzle a little olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon over the pork, and garnish with fennel fronds with onions on the side.
- For a lovely gravy pour off any fat from the pan into a saucepan.
- For 2 tablespoons of fat stir in 2 tablespoons of flour and cook over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
- Set the roasting pan on your largest stove top element and deglaze with 2 cups of chicken stock, scraping up all the lovely brown bits and pieces of charred onion.
- Strain this mixture into the saucepan containing your roux (flour/butter mixture).
- Whisk over medium high heat and until thickened.