Sunday, April 1, 2012

Pork Roast with Pancetta & Fried Capers, Stuffing, & Roasted Tomatoes

When I have friends over I love making big roasts, turkeys, tri tips, or any other prehistoric-sized meats.  It reminds me of Thanksgiving cooking, and comfort food, especially when the day is gray and foggy-like.  Today I chose a pork loin roast, and although I knew that I wanted to roast it in pancetta, I hadn't settled on the rest of the menu as I walked into the store.  This is typical.

In the end, I went with a bread stuffing and stuffed roasted tomatoes to accompany the pork roast with pancetta.

Our snack on a sliced baguette.  Who doesn't die for buratta??  Ok, on to dinner!

Chop off the tomato's heads, scoop out their seeds, slice a tiny bit off the bottom so they stand, then let them drain upside down to get rid of the excess moisture.
Make a paste of fresh sage, rosemary, crushed fennel seeds, kosher salt, pepper, and olive oil.

Cut 6-8 slits in the meat on the top and bottom, shove a garlic sliver in each, and rub the roast with your herb paste.

Wrap the roast in pancetta slices.  You can tie them with cooking twine, but I was obviously too lazy for this.  Allow to sit 1 hour - overnight.  Bake in a 450 oven for 10 minutes, then change the temp to 250 & bake until the meat registers 145 with your thermometer.  This behemoth of a roast took 1 1/2hr.  Rest for 15 min, then slice.

Mirepoix, but with leek instead of typical brown onion.

Saute bacon until crispy, add in mirepoix until tender, then a splash (ok, a good glug) of white wine or vermouth, toss in a loaf of bread cubed, then 1 cup each of chicken stock and cream or 1/2 & 1/2.  

Pour the stuffing into a buttered baking dish.

 Top the stuffing with SnP, and grated Parmesan, cover with foil.  Bake @ 350 for 30 min, then remove foil and raise the oven to 375 for another 15 minutes to get those little crispy bits.

Stuff tomatoes with panko breadcrumbs, garlic, parmesan, parsley, SnP, top with more Parm & bake, uncovered, alongside the stuffing.

Serve the sliced roast with your tomatoes, and top with...wait for it....FRIED CAPERS!  They were amazing.  Drain capers, pat dry, toss in fine cornmeal, then fry in olive oil for 1-2 min.  That's it, and I couldn't stop eating them.

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