Eating is a necessity. However, we choose what to eat. The choices we make reveal a great deal about us. The food you eat can tell quite a bit about your heritage, your family, your fears, your sense of adventure, your attitude toward yourself and others, and a myriad of other personal tidbits to anyone paying attention. Everything about eating is a glimpse into your soul.

I hope to reveal a little bit about myself to you through my food. I enjoy cooking. I enjoy eating. I find pleasure in bringing pleasure to others. I hope that by sharing my recipes I bring you a little bit of joy.

Cook my food. Feed it to the people you love.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Herbed Pork Loin Wrapped in Pancetta

At the center of the traditional Thanksgiving meal is a huge roasted turkey.  I do not like turkey and never have.  When I was a child, I just skipped the turkey and piled on the sweet potato soufflé.  When I first moved out and became responsible for cooking Thanksgiving dinner, I continued to make a turkey because it was expected.  Now that I am older, I don’t feel the need to please everyone and have quit cooking a turkey. I don’t like them.  I do like roasted pork loin and you can find the recipe for stuffing one here.  I have also made Cornish game hens and ham.  You can make any of these to go with the turkey.  You can also forego the turkey, altogether. 

This year I am making another pork loin.  However, instead of stuffing it, I am wrapping it in pancetta and herbs.  You can use bacon, but the pancetta makes a better presentation, in my opinion.  This looks complicated, but is VERY easy. 

Serves 4-6
Time:  Prep: 20, cook time: 20-30 minutes per pound
Hardware: Cutting board and knives, a food processor, a rubber spatula, parchment paper, butcher’s twine, kitchen scissors, tongs, a broiler pan

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon fresh rosemary
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 4-5 garlic cloves
  • 1½ pound pork loin roast
  • ½ pound thick sliced pancetta

  1. Preheat the oven to 425º.
  2. Place the herbs, garlic, and olive oil into the food processor and pulse a few times.  Scrape the sides of the hopper down and pulse a few more times. Set aside.
  3. Cut off about 5 six inch pieces of twine.
  4. Roll out a large (1’x1’) piece of parchment paper.  On top of the paper evenly space out the kitchen twine, about an inch apart, the length of the pork loin.  Lay out the slices of pancetta on top of the twine.  Overlap the slices so that they cover a square area the length and width of the pork loin.
  5. Rub the herbs all over the pork loin.  You can place any leftover herbs in a line down the pancetta.
  6. Lay the pork loin perpendicular to the twine.  Use the wax paper to help wrap the pancetta around the pork.  Tie the twine snuggly around the pork.
  7. Place the loin onto the broiler pan and roast the pork loin for 20-30 minutes per pound.  Making sure not to disturb the pancetta, flip the roast over about half way through.  Remove the roast from the oven when the thermometer reads 145˚ when inserted in the middle of the roast.
  8. Allow the meat to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving.  Carefully cut the twine and remove it without removing the pancetta.  Because the pancetta, or bacon if you are using that, is salty I have found more salt unnecessary.
I save the pan drippings and mix them with a cup of chicken stock and a few more herbs.  I boil this while the meat is resting, strain it, and serve it on the side.


Overlap the pancetta
(Step 4)

Rub the roast with herbs
(Step 5)
Tie the twine snuggly
around the roast
(Step 6)

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