Loin, tenderloin, and loin with bones are three distinct parts from the same part of the pork.
The tenderloin is the part near the thigh, the loin with bones is the part with the ribs, and the loin is the final part of the back of the pig.
The pork loin is a lean and valuable cut and is incredibly not overpriced. And it is one of my all-time favorites.
I love to cook it as much as to eat it. It does well in the oven and pan, has a relatively short cooking time, is perfect for any season, and the meat is tender beyond expectations.
The version with aromatics is a classic of Italian cuisine.
For seasoning, you can choose from your favorite ones. I opted for a classic base of sage, thyme, and rosemary, which I chopped with a knife.
I used the herbs as a stuffing, making an incision to fold open the piece of meat. I distributed the mince inside the roast, which I then closed back on itself, finally wrapped with smoked bacon (do this if you like), and tied the roast in three places to hold its shape (this is always good to do regardless of stuffing and trappings).
If you feel this is easier for you, spread the herbs on the surface of the roast.
The tradition of the Sunday roast
In Italy, it has become a habit since the late 1950s when new and widespread affluence changed the lifestyle habits, including eating habits, of Italians living in cities and rural areas.
Meat becomes accessible to all, economically speaking.
Italian home cooks, little by little, dismissed the traditional cucina povera in favor of new recipes more rich in ingredients and fats.
Today, we know how much we lost because of that abrupt removal from the knowledge and flavors of peasant cuisine, but, at the time, the change represented a positive sign of raising the level of the quality of life of the average Italian who, until the outbreak of World War II, suffered from often precarious living conditions and a poor and little varied diet.
Because of the question of cost and the cooking time proper for this preparation, the roast was a dish reserved for the most important occasions. Over the century, roasts and meat dishes were for the table of the Lord.
So, we are in front of a gastronomic turning point of cultural value when the roast from an exceptional dish becomes a weekly meal, although still linked to the special Sunday meal.
For the first time after many centuries, the table of Italians is the same without distinction of geography or social class. The uniformity of consumption and lifestyles will be the source of a strong impetus capable of generating other changes.
The practice of reserving for Sunday lunch a succulent roast joyfully accompanied by a side dish of baked potatoes dressed in oil or butter and rosemary spread from north to south to the point that many period cookbooks welcome as the title of the preparation the generic wording “Sunday roast” without specifying what it is from the title as, on the contrary, happens today.
Over the decades, the roast has accompanied countless family lunches. There are so many recipes that making a list is impossible. I’m sure each of us keeps memories of the roasts that have graced family gatherings.
If I say roast, what comes to mind?
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The Sunday lunch
When I think of roast, so many memories surface of perfectly executed recipes, burnt roasts, hated roasts, favorite bites or cuts, improbable bindings, the clinking of cutlery and glasses mingling with laughter and humor.
This dish has always been more than a recipe or an iconic dish.
In my memories, I see roasts capable of smoothing out the tensions typical of family gatherings, eliciting smiles from the uncontactable, sparking barbs over the conquest of the favorite piece, creating perfect moments of silence.
I could tell you about the many family lunches, the events celebrated at the table, and the many recipes I have tasted over the years.
It is hard to pinpoint a specific memory, a single flavor. I would feel as if I were wronging everyone else. I can only tell you that I hated rabbit and roast beef as much as I loved rifreddi, galantine, pork loin, and roast chicken. And that I liked boiled meat redone or accompanied by salsa verde as my grandmother Sara used to make it.
Over the years, my tastes have changed. Now I appreciate roast beef and roast veal with gravy. Galantina, arista, and roast chicken are still top favorites.
From being a spectator of the preparations, I became a performer, discovering that roasts and I are in sync. In fact, I love recipes that require time and attention, long, whispery cooking, and bold flavors.
Roasts come to the table along with one or more side dishes. Salads, purees, grilled or sautéed vegetables, and coleslaw are possible options.
A pan of buttery, crispy roasted potatoes are probably the perfect side dish to dress up any roast. I opted for that side to serve my herb-stuffed pork loin roast.
Buona cucina, Monica
The Sunday roast
Pork loin in the pan has a quick cooking time and the look of simple things. That cut is always unbelievably tender, even without sauce. If you’re looking for a recipe that combines dramatic appearance and flavor, I recommend glazed pork loin with bones.
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Herb-stuffed pork loin recipe
- 2 g of chopped rosemary, thyme and sage instead of thyme, use dried oregano
- 700 g of pork loin
- 50 g of slices of bacon
- 100 g of butter
- 50 g of olive oil
- 2 shallots
- 4 bay leaves
- 4 juniper berries
- 200 ml white wine
- Place the pork loin on a cutting board. Score the meat horizontally a little above the center, then cut without going all the way (to open it like a book).
- Stuff the meat with the filling of chopped herbs, then close it.
- Wrap the top of the meat with slices of bacon.
- Lay three pieces of kitchen twine on the cutting board so that they are equidistant from each other.
- Tie the wrapped roast with twine. Set aside.
- Remove the skins from the shallots, leaving them whole; set aside.
- In a high-sided pan, melt butter in oil, then add shallots, bay leaves, and berries.
- Place the roast in the pot and seal all the sides for 2-3 minutes each.
- Salt and cook uncovered for a few minutes. Add the wine, cook for five minutes, then cover the pan with a lid.
- Cook on medium-low heat for 40 minutes.
- Remove the pork loin from the pan, strain the sauce, and reduce it on the stove over a low flame. A little or a lot depends on your taste.
- Let the roast cool before removing the twine and cutting it into slices of your preferred thickness.
- Warm the roast in the oven by covering the roasting pan with aluminum foil.
- You can serve the roast at room temperature, even cold in the middle of summer, by pouring hot sauce over the slices.
- You can prepare the roast 2-3 days in advance.Store leftovers in the refrigerator for a few days. You can also freeze the roast cooked and cut it into slices.