How did the year start?
Under the sign of calm for me. And celebrating the return of roasts on my table. Like this glazed pork loin and baked pork knuckle with beer, that you’ll soon see on the blog.
After Christmas I gave myself a couple of weeks without any plans.
I thought I’d organize a couple of trips and take care of some backlog. When a salvific laziness prevailed and the program became “don’t plan”.
We needed to take a break form our everyday life, my husband and I.
I emptied my head, letting new thoughts take the place of the old, trying to see things from a different point of view. Ultimately, to look ahead.
Reading, Writing, Cooking.
These are the things I love doing the most because they make me feel good. I could add walking and gardening to my list.
What about you? What are the things that make you feel good about doing them?
Have been rejuvenating and fruitful days. I’ve been thinking about which recipes and food stories I’d like to share in 2020 with you who are reading the blog. And the cooking classes that many of you have asked me about. And while I’m at work making a plan, what do you say if we start to roast pork loin in the oven?
Below the recipe I’ll tell you what are the thing I do that I love and why and what the roast recipes represent for me.
Buona cucina, Monica
Serve the pork loin with the side you prefer, but consider accompanying the dish with a sauce, like an apple sauce for roasts.
You can cook the roast even one, two days before and store it in the fridge, covered.
After cooking, I prefer to eliminate the slices of smoked bacon used to wrap the meat. I use it to give flavor and taste but during cooking it dries out a bit.
Glazed Roast Pork Loin Recipe
Pork yoke, about 1 kg
4 or 5 apples (I used a local Emilia-Romagna variety called Abbondanza)
maple syrup, 100g
smoked bacon, 8 thin slices
The preparation of the roast begins in the butcher’s shop. I ask to the butcher to make incisions between one bone and the other and the pig’s flesh. In this way, once cooked, it is easier to cut into slices. If you are not very experienced, you can also ask him to season it and tie it up for you.
When at home, A casa, prep kitchen twine, smoked bacon, aluminum foil and set aside.
Slightly salt the meat, brush it with maple syrup and cover it with slices of bacon (I also put them underneath). Brush again with maple syrup, tie with kitchen string without being tied, cover the protruding of the bones with aluminum (see photo) and place everything on a baking tray covered with baking paper.
You’ll see that the transition from dino to roast is not as difficult as it seems.
Then wash, cut the apples in half and put them in the pan with the meat.
Cover the pan with an aluminium foil and bake in preheated oven (180 degrees, static function) for about 60 minutes. At half cooking turn the roast and cover again. When about 15 minutes are left, turn the roast again and finish cooking without aluminium foil.
Remove from the oven, let it cool, remove the roast from the pan and place it on a cutting board, then cut the string, remove the bacon that wraps the loin and the aluminium that covers the bones.
Filter the gravy and set aside. After cooking, I don’t use the cooked apples. Their taste is too much strong to me. I preferred to eliminate them. Of course not the roast gravy, that must be filtered and kept aside. It can be used to juicy the roast while heating it in the oven or in the pan, or to be brought to the table after slicing it.
When heat the roast, put it in a preheated oven, taking care to cover the pan to prevent the meat from drying out.
Bring it whole to the table and then make like Houdini. You disappear and reappear with the sliced roast. If you want, you can slice the roast at the table, too.
Serve the roast hot or room temperature with apple sauce and the side dish you prefer.
To be honest, I read less than I promised myself. I had prepared several books. Two books by American food writers, the biography of Julia Child, the first two chapters of the cycle A series of unfortunate events by Lemony Snicket (ok, maybe I’m old for children’s literature but I think a good story is for everyone and this is a great story). Then, during the holidays I started reorganizing the library in my studio, so I kept many books in my hands but without reading.
It was better with walking and cooking. The walk that I liked most is that we took on the first day of the year to the park of Villa Ghigi, we with our dog Emma. It was cold, the leftovers of the lasagna baked the night before to warm the thoughts. I stopped several times to admire the skyline of Bologna at our feet thinking that looking at things from a certain distance is useful to (re)focus.
And then I cooked a lot. Sometimes following, sometimes letting my thoughts go. I cooked for love, because I can’t do without it. And even though it may seem strange to you, I really needed to be alone in my kitchen. Without recipes to develop or to try for the blog, schedules to follow, the scale to remind me that I have to weigh each ingredient before sharing a recipe. I cooked with my hands and head free, inspired by the season and the ingredients.
About Sunday Lunch and Roasts
The roasts make me think of Sunday lunches, when the menu changed to make the table as special as the feast day deserved.
The long cooking, which I love.
At the time for me while the roast cooks filling the house with a familiar, friendly, inviting smell.
I like roast recipes and they’re among the ones I’ve always enjoyed cooking most. In these days of vacation, thanks to the preparation of a roast knuckle, I realized that I almost stopped cooking them. I’m sorry about that. Even though I eat (a lot) less meat than I used to, I am omnivorous. Roasts belong to the tradition of my home and my region, Emilia-Romagna, which has a solid reputation for meat preparations.
It’s time to bring the roasts back to my table.
Glazed Pork Loin
From dino to roast, it’s a moment.
The loin is one of the most exquisite parts of the pig.
I revisited the recipe adding a sweet and smoky taste that I find perfect for the coldest days.
My grandmother covered the ends of the loin’s bones with aluminium to prevent them from getting darker during cooking. Then she wrapped the meat with slices of lard or bacon, a little trick to keep the meat soft and juicy during cooking. I chose smoked bacon, but you can opt for the one you prefer or not at all, and maple syrup for glazing.
In the pan I also added some half-cut apples because their juice keep the meat moist without adding oil or anything else.
I made this roast in November when I took some pictures for the blog for Christmas. A photo set means a lot of work. I have to thank my friends because they dedicated a whole Sunday to me. After work, we ate together the dishes that we photographed. It was a lunch full of joy, chitchat and good food.