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Roast pork loin


Sunday morning and I’m just back from an exhilarating walk in the forest and the appreciation of the  first musty smells of autumn. Back in the flat, the weekend  editions lie half-read on the floor, hopefully to be finished before the guests arrive. I smell  the cinnamon and warm apples of the cobbler bubbling in the oven.

Time for a glass of Chilean white (Concha Y Toro Chardonnay Sunrise) before I roast the pork loin. The potatoes have been prepared earlier and will only require a sprinkling of cheese before banging in a hot oven. The veg is my already prepared ratatouille. Going South American with the booze today, so will be offering Canale Reserve Merlot, from the Rio Negro Valley, Patagonia. It’s brochettes for starters with a pitcher of Peruvian Pisco Sour. Please Monday, never come.

Roast Loin of Pork
Serves 8

Ingredients
2.25kg (5lb) loin of pork, off the bone – ask the butcher to remove the skin and leave about 1cm (½in) fat on the joint
6 garlic cloves, sliced
3 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves chopped, plus 8 sprigs
8 bay leaves
olive oil

Method
Lay the pork on a board, flesh side up. Make incisions all over it with a sharp knife and fill them with slivers of garlic. Rub the fennel and chopped rosemary all over the flesh, pushing bits down inside the slits, and season generously all over with salt and pepper.
Make a little bed in a roasting-tin with the whole rosemary sprigs and bay leaves and lay the pork on it. Cover and refrigerate overnight, but bring to room temperature before roasting.

 Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/gas mark 7. Lift the loin out of the tin, leaving behind the herbs, and tie it up at intervals with kitchen string (don’t do this too tightly – it should hold its shape but not look like a sausage). Put back into the roasting tin on top of the rosemary and bay (make sure these are under the pork or they will scorch) and cook for 50 minutes, basting every so often.

When the pork is cooked take it out of the oven and cover with foil. Insulate and allow to rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. You can serve this hot or at room temperature.

 

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