Monday, February 28, 2011

Tuscan Roasted Pork Loin

Sometimes I run across a recipe that looks delicious but complicated.  I'll bookmark it or clip it and promise myself to get back to it--and don't.  This recipe from Joanne Weir has stayed in that part of my brain that is reserved for all things pertaining to food.  When I saw the photo with her recipe I immediately thought what a nice presentation it would be for guests.  I also thought I'd better give it a trial run to see just how long it would take and how it would turn out.  And, as it turns out, it's quite easy to do and is delicious.

Joanne is an award winning cookbook author, cooking teacher and can be found in the kitchen over at PBS's "Joanne Weir's Cooking Class".

Over the weekend, I found myself with a pork loin in the freezer and the perfect crusty baguette in which to ensconce it.  Alas, I had no fresh herbs or any fennel pollen.  Just in case some of you might not know what fennel pollen is (like me), The Spice House describes it as "like taking the fennel seed, sweetening it and then intensifying it a hundred times".  I'll be making a trip to the Spice House to pick up some.  In the meantime, I changed the recipe to use what I had on hand.  It was so delicious that I will be doing it again and following Joanne's recipe to the letter.  For those of you with fresh herbs and fennel pollen, here's  Joanne Weir's recipe.

Here's how I made the roast.

Pork Roasted the Tuscan Way inspired by Joanne Weir

1 Tbsp Italian herbs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat
1 loaf crusty baguette

1.  Preheat the oven to 375.
2.  Rub the Italian herbs and garlic onto the pork roast, salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Heat a frying pan over medium heat.  Add two Tbsp of the oil and heat 1 minute.  Add the pork, turning often, until lightly browned all over.  This should take about 8 minutes total.
4.  Cut the baguette in half the long way and scoop out the soft inside*.  Brush the inside of the baguette with the remaining olive oil.  Place the pork loin inside.  Tie the baguette, at 2 inch intervals with kitchen string.  Place the roast on a baking sheet.
5.  Roast until done, about 155 degrees.  This will take 20 to 25 minutes.
6.  Remove from oven and let rest, uncovered, 10 minutes.
7.  Remove the strings and cut into slices
8.  Serves 4.

*I spread the scooped out bread on a cookie sheet and dried it out in the oven.  Then I pulsed it into fine crumbs in the food processor.  I'll use it another day in some way.