Porchetta

When we were living in the UK we had an opportunity to visit the Umbria region in Italy.  It was there that we first tried Porchetta.  A rather hardcore Italian pork roast, porchetta isn’t the type of thing I would endeavour to recreate at home.  Thankfully Bon Appetite has that covered for me.  Their week night version was very easily recreated within the context of having a new baby at home.  I’ve made a very simple change, using very thinly sliced pancetta instead of the recommended bacon.  I found it just added more flavour than standard bacon.

Bon Appetit’s Weeknight Porchetta

4 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 tbsp coarsely chopped rosemary, plus 4 sprigs
1tbsp fennel seeds, lightly toasted
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 lb pork tenderloin
4 slices pancetta

Preheat the oven to 425. In a mortar and pestle, combine the garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds, salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil and grind until combined.  Rub this mixture over the tenderloin, leaving it to marinade as long as you have available (overnight ideally, but I had only 30 minutes).  Wrap the tenderloin in the pancetta slices, and place on top of sprigs of rosemary in a large baking pan.  I used a cast iron fry pan.  Drizzle with the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil.  Roast in the preheated over until an instant read thermometer registers 145degrees. Let rest for 10-15 minutes, slice and serve.

Consider making a pan sauce, removing the pork tenderloin, rosemary sprigs and placing the pan over medium high heat.  Add 1/2 cup of white wine, scraping up the flavour bits from the pan until the wine has reduced by at least half.  Then add another cup of chicken or vegetable stock, again cooking until reduced by half.  Remove from heat, stir in 1 tbsp of butter, check seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed.

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