Monday, January 14, 2013

Pork Loin Tuscan Style with Roasted Potatoes

This dish is known in Italian as Arista di Mailale alla Toscana.

(serves 6–8)

2 large sprigs fresh rosemary (to make 2 Tbs chopped)
3 large sprigs fresh sage (to make 2 Tbs chopped)
1 lemon
5 cloves garlic
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
4 lb pork loin
6–8 thin pancetta slices
olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Strip the herb leaves. Zest the lemon. Peel and trim the garlic. Combine and chop together finely. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Rinse and pat dry the pork loin. Cut away any excess fat. Make 10–12 deep slits (about 1-1½ inches deep) and insert a finger to widen. Pack with the herb mixture (you'll need only about6 half).

4. Cover with the pancetta slices. Truss the loin with loops of string at the center and both ends. Wrap in aluminum foil and place in a roasting pan.

5. Cut the potatoes into pieces no larger than the size of a lime. Toss with the remaining herb mixture, some salt, and a little olive oil. Place in the roasting pan in a single layer around the pork loin.

6. Roast in the oven for 40 minutes. Unwrap the foil and continue roasting until done, about another 30-40 minutes. Let the meat rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

• If you can't get decent pancetta, bacon will do.