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Tuscan-Style Pork Loin with Garlic and Rosemary

                                                                     

This is a more complicated recipe than most. The trickiest part is cutting the round roast into a “sheet” of pork that is then covered with a delicious filling, rolled, and baked. However, the results both lookand taste amazing. In Italy, these are called “Arista”. You see them in almost every restaurant and corner store. Barb L.

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:

1 lemon

1/3 cup Flying Olive Garlic, Gremolata, Lemon, Rosemary (although I'd use it in combination with another oil as it is very strong), or a Combination of Choice, plus a little more for oiling the rimmed baking sheet and rack

8 garlic cloves, grated or minced

¼ tsp red pepper flakes

1 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary

2 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/2” pieces

1 (2 ½ pound) boneless center-cut pork loin roast

1 Tbsp kosher salt

Directions:

Finely grate 1 tsp zest from the lemon. Cut the lemon in half and set aside.

Combine the lemon zest, Flying Olive Extra Virgin Olive Oil(s) of Choice, garlic, and pepper flakes in a 10” nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until garlic is sizzling, about 3 minutes. Add the rosemary and cook about 30 seconds. Strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Push on the garlic-rosemary mixture with the back of a wooden spoon to extract the flavored oil. Set the oil mixture and the rosemary-garlic mixture aside in two separate bowls. Wipe out the skillet using paper towels.

Roughly chop the pancetta. Place in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms, about 20-30 seconds. Scrape down the sides as needed. Add the cooled garlic-rosemary mixture and continue to process until well mixed, about 20-30 seconds more.

Position roast fat side up. Insert a long knife one-third of the way up from the bottom of the roast along 1 long side. Cut horizontally, stopping 1/2 “ before the edge. Open up the flap. Keeping the knife parallel to the cutting board, cut through the thicker portion of the roast from the edge closest to the cut portion and about 1/2” from the bottom of the roast, keeping the knife level with the first cut and stopping about 1/2” from the edge. Open up the flap.

If the pork loin is uneven, cover with plastic wrap and use a meat pounder to even it out. Open the roast so that it is flat. Sprinkle ½ Tbsp over each side of the roast, rubbing it into the meat to help it stick. Spread the inside of the roast evenly with the pancetta-garlic paste, from about 1/4” from the edges.

Starting from the short side, roll up the roast, keeping the fat on the outside edge. Tie with twine at 1” intervals. Cover a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set a wire rack on the baking sheet.   Using paper towels lightly oil the baking sheet and wire rack. Set the roast, fat side up, on the prepared rack and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 275 degrees. Transfer the roast to the oven and cook until the pork roast registers 135 degrees with an instant read thermometer, about 1½ -2 hours. Remove the roast from the oven, tent with aluminum foil, and let the roast rest for 20 minutes.

Heat 1 tsp of the reserved oil in the empty skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add the reserved lemon halves, cut side down, and cook until softened and cut surfaces are browned, 3-4 minutes. Transfer the lemon halves to a small plate.

Pat the cooked roast dry with paper towels. Heat 2 Tbsp of the reserved oil in the empty skillet over high heat until just smoking. Brown the roast on the fat side and other two sides but not on the bottom of the roast, about 4-6 minutes. (Alternately, turn the broiler on and broil for just a few minutes until the roast is slightly brown, as seen in first photo.) Transfer the roast to a carving board and remove the twine.

Once the lemon halves are cool enough to handle, squeeze the lemons into a fine-mesh strainer set over a bowl. Press on the solids to extract all the pulp. Discard the solids. Whisk 2 Tbsp of the strained lemon juice into a bowl with the remaining reserved oil. Slice the roast into 1/4” thick slices. Serve the vinaigrette on the side to drizzle on the sliced roast.

Inspired by a recipe by Cooks Illustrated, Published January 2016.

Submitted by Barb L.