Fall is Here with Roasted Pork Loin


Yes, it is still feeling like summer out there!!!  Hot Days!  But with the promise of cooler ones coming.  We know this is true since all the fall events are starting up. Last week was State College Area High School’s homecoming weekend.

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The winning float!

Roasted pork is very much a fall feeling, smelling food to me.  It’s also COMFORT food at it’s best!  And so easy to prepare.  The smell of rosemary, sage and garlic whafting through your kitchen as the pork is baking will make you happy that the summer is over.  I bake this pork loin resting on a layer of peeled and sliced potatoes and carrots.

In Italy, roasted pork can be found as a sandwich in a food truck at the local outdoor market, sliced and stuffed in a good hearty roll wrapped in white paper. But, you don’t have to go to Italy for panino con la porchetta, you can just use your leftovers.

Market Style Roasted Pork
Arista di Maiale al’ Mercato
From the Book:  In Late Winter We Ate Pears
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves
8 to 10 fresh sage leaves
8 to 10 medium cloves of garlic
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 3- to 4- pound  pork loin (shoulder or belly can be used)
Kosher or other large-grained salt
Extra virgin olive oil
Wine or water

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Chop or process (in a food processor) together the rosemary, sage and garlic with several generous pinches of salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.

Arrange the pork in a roasting pan.  I use a rack in the pan, and if you want a complete meal, put peeled and sliced potatoes and carrots around and under the meat.  If you are using a shoulder or whole loin, make 3 inch deep incisions into the meat with a sharp knife, stuffing the seasonings into the incisions.  If using a pork belly or loin that has been butterflied (it lays flat) then spread the seasonings over the whole interior surface, roll up the meat and tie it with butcher’s twine.

Season the exterior with salt, lightly blanketing the surface, drizzle the olive oil over all and add some wine or water to the pan, at least 1/2 inch deep.

Roast the pork for 2 to 2 and 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature of the pork reads at least 130 degrees (medium) on a meat thermometer.  As it roasts, watch the liquid in the pan, adding more if needed to keep the meat moist.  If the meat begins to darken to much as it browns on the outside, tent foil on top of the meat to prevent burning, although a certain amount of crustiness is yummy!

Once the meat is out of the oven, let it rest for about 15 minutes so that the juices can reabsorb into the meat before you slice it.  You can use the pan juices for serving the meat, or in the Italian way, drizzle olive oil over the slices when served.

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