Tuscan-Style Roast Pork

This is a fantastic dinner party dish! Via Cook’s Illustrated.

  • 1 lemon
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 2 ounces pancetta, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 1 (2 ½ lb) boneless center-cut pork loin roast, trimmed
  • kosher salt

1. Finely grate 1 teaspoon zest from lemon. Cut lemon in half and reserve. Combine lemon zest, oil, garlic, and pepper flakes in 10-inch nonstick skillet. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until garlic is sizzling, about 3 minutes. Add rosemary and cook, 30 seconds. Strain mixture through fine-mesh strainer set over bowl, pushing on garlic-rosemary mixture to extract oil. Set oil aside and let garlic-rosemary mixture cool. Using paper towels, wipe out skillet.

2. Process pancetta in food processor until smooth paste forms, 20-30 seconds, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add garlic-rosemary mixture and continue to process until mixture is homogeneous, 20-30 seconds longer, scarping down sides of bowl as needed.

3. Position roast fat side up. Insert knife one-third of way up from bottom of roast along 1 long side and cut horozontally, stopping ½ inch before edge. Open up flat. Keeping knife parallel to cutting board, cut throuh thicker portion of roast about ½ inch from bottom of roast, keeping knife level with first cut and stopping about ½ inch before edge. Open up this flap. If uneven, cover with plastic wrap and use meat pounder to even out.

4. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon kosher salt over both sides of roast (½ tablespoons per side) and rub into meat to adhere. Spread inside of roast evenly with pancetta-garlic paste, leaving about ¼ inch border on all sides.

5. Starting from short side, roll roast (keeping fat on outside) and tie with twine at 1-inch intervals. Set wire rack in rimmed baking sheet and spray with vegetable oil spray. Set roast fate side up on prepared rack and refrigerate for 1 hour.

6. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 275 degrees. Transfer roast to oven and cook until meat registers 135 degrees, 1 ½ to 2 hours. Remove roast from oven, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 minutes.

7. Heat 1 teaspoon reserved oil in now-empty skillet over high heat until just smoking. Add reserved lemon halves, cut side down, and cook until softened and cut surfaces are browned, 3-4 minutes. Transfer lemon halves to small plate.

8. Pat roast with paper towls. Heat 2 tablespoons reserved oil in now empty skillet over high heat until just smoking. Brown roast on fat side and sides (do not brown bottom of roast) 4-6 minutes. Transfer roast to carving board and remove twine.

9. Once lemon halves are cool enough to handle, squeeze into fine-mesh strainer set over bowl. Press on solids to extract all pulp; discard solids. Whisk 2 tablespoons strained lemon juice into bowl with remaining reserved oil. Slice roast into ¼ inch thick slices and serve, passing vinaigrette separately.

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