Pancetta-Wrapped Pork Roast

April 12, 2012

I recently started trying out Giada’s recipes, especially for celebrations. This recipe is a very simple preparation, but it  will make your house smell amazing and comes to the table looking very impressive. Please note: that it needs to be prepared at least one hour before you want to start cooking to give the spice rub and pancetta time to set on the pork roast.

If you aren’t familiar with it, pancetta is Italian bacon. It is pork belly that is salt cured and then seasoned with such spices as nutmeg, fennel, peppercorns, dried ground hot peppers and garlic before being dried for at least three months. Traditionally it is cut almost paper-thin and is oh-so-delicious.

You will need:

  • 8 large cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 1 T fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 T fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 (3.5 – 4 lb) tied boneless pork loin roast
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 oz thinly sliced pancetta
  • 1 1/2 c chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 c dry white wine

Then you will…

  1. In a small food processor, blend the garlic with the rosemary, thyme and olive oil, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally, until the garlic is minced.
  2. Sprinkle the pork roast generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Arrange the pancetta slices on a work surface, overlapping slightly and forming a rectangle.
  4. Spread half of the garlic mixture over 1 side of the pork and between the two loins that meet in the center of the tied pork roast.
  5. Place the pork, garlic mixture side won, in the center of the pancetta rectangle.
  6. Spread the remaining garlic mixture over the remaining pork.
  7. Wrap the pancetta slices around the pork. Place the pork in a roasting pan. (I placed it on a metal roasting rack in the pan so it could have heat on all sides for crispy pancetta all around. If you have one, go for it; if not, don’t worry!).
  8. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
  9. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  10. Pour 1/2 cup of the broth and a 1/2 cup of the wine into the roasting pan. Add more broth and wine to the pan juices every 20 minutes.
  11. Roast the pork until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees for medium-rarte, about 1 hour.
  12. Transfer the pork to a cutting board. Tent with aluminum foil and let stand for 10 minutes.
  13. Pour the pan drippings into a glass measuring cup and spoon off any fat that rises to the top (or use a gravy separator).
  14. Using a large sharp carving knife, cut the pork into 1/4-inch slices and serve with the pan juices.

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