Arista di Maiale alla Fiorentina

Florentine Roast Pork Loin

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    6

Appears in

The Italian Regional Cookbook

The Italian Regional Cookbook

By Valentina Harris

Published 2017

  • About

This simple roast pork dish has a wonderful story behind it. It is an ancient Medici court recipe, from a banquet held in honour of the Greek Bishops who were journeying to Florence for the Ecumenical Council. As this was the first time the Greeks had journeyed this far, nobody was quite sure when they would arrive, so a dish had to be created that would last a few days and taste good either hot or cold. Lots of pepper, salt and garlic were used to preserve the meat as much as possible, while sweet-smelling rosemary was abundantly applied to add fragrance. When the Greeks arrived, they pronounced the meat ‘Aristos!’ which in ancient Greek means ‘excellent’, and so this tasty pork roast became known as arista for evermore and is still enjoyed on a regular basis.

Ingredients

  • 30-45 ml/2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, chopped, or 25 ml/ tbsp dried rosemary
  • 6 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 10 ml/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1.3 kg/3 lb pork loin, boned
  • 45-60 ml/3-4 tbsp olive oil
  • 500 ml/17 fl oz/ cups white wine
  • sea salt
  • peas and onions, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas 3. Mix the rosemary with the chopped garlic. Season with salt and the black pepper.

  2. Take a skewer and make lots of deep holes in the joint of meat. Insert the rosemary mixture into the holes, pushing it inside the flesh. Tie the joint securely with kitchen string or twine and put it into a roasting pan.

  3. Rub the meat all over with oil and season well. Roast, basting frequently with the pan juices and with the white wine, for about 2 hours, or until cooked through. Turn the meat over each time you baste.
  4. Traditionally, the joint is served cold, but is equally good hot, with the pan juices and accompanied by peas and onions.