Saturday 19 May 2012

Pork Loin, stuffed with Frittata

Pork loin has appeared increasingly frequently on menus in this house in the past few years - something to do with its amazingly low price in Italy (presumably a reflection of the fact that after they've made all of those haunches of prosciutto, they then have an awful lot of the rest of the animal to get rid of), but at least as much to do with the range of great things that can be done with this particular cut: pot-roast with vinegar and peppercorns, or else in milk; 'larded' with vanilla and garlic, and cooked in coconut milk; wrapped in prosciutto and roast in the oven; stuffed with mustard, butter, and herbs; stuffed with swiss cheese... The list goes on. And now, this one: stuffed with prosciutto and a herb frittata, and then pot-roast in white wine. It might sound like a lot of work, but in fact it isn't. The frittata is an excellent way of spreading the flavour evenly throughout the loin, and also holds the whole thing together excellently when sliced (which, let's face it, doesn't always happen with stuffed cuts of meat, which can fall apart quite depressingly when it comes to slicing them to serve). The whole thing can be prepped to the point of roasting several hours in advance, and since the process of cooking it requires no concentration on the part of the cook, then this is a dish which lends itself well to entertaining.

For a 500-600g loin (probably enough for four servings)

Ingredients: Pork Loin; 3 Eggs; 2 tbs grated Parmesan; 2 tbs chopped Basil; 4 tbs Olive Oil; 2 tbs Butter; 4 or 5 thin slices of Prosciutto (or Speck);  1 generous glass of dry White Wine; Seasoning.


1. Slice open the loin so that it can be 'unrolled' to make a flat piece of meat, about 14" x 5". Season the meat lightly.

2.  Heat half of the oil and half of the butter in a 10" frying pan. Beat together the Eggs, Parmesan, and Basil, along with salt and pepper to taste, and pour into the pan. Cook over medium heat for several minutes, tilting the pan, to make a thin, flat omelette. When it seems pretty much cooked, put the pan under a hot grill for a couple of minutes, just to cook and brown the top. Allow the frittata to cool down in the pan for several minutes.

 3. Lay the slices of prosciutto over the flat piece of meat, to cover it entirely. Cut the frittata so that it it is the same size and shape as the meat, and place it on top of the layer of prosciutto. Eat any leftover bits of frittata, whilst contemplating the general lot in life of the busy cook. Roll the meat up, swiss-roll fashion, and tie with three or four pieces of string. (At this point, you can leave the stuffed loin in the fridge for up to half a day, if you want.)

4. Heat the remaining oil and butter in the bottom of a heavy, metal casserole. When sizzling, brown the loin all over, and then pour over it the white wine. Keep the heat high as the wine comes to a boil, and then reduce to low, as you place the lid on the casserole. Cook for an hour, covered the entire time. 

5. Five minutes before serving, take the meat from the pan and reduce the sauce over high heat, until it has clearly thickened. Slice the meat for serving, and spoon the sauce over the meat, once plated.

Excellent also next day, sliced cold for lunch.