Lombata di Maiale al Forno

Roast Pork Loin with Juniper and Rosemary

Two roasting methods are used to get the most out of this pork loin in terms of texture, tenderness, and taste. The first phase—in which the meat, coated with a rosemary and juniper berry mixture, roasts in an open pan in the oven—produces a good, crusty surface permeated by the mingled seasonings. The second phase takes place over the burner with tomatoes and butter added: The roast completes its cooking in a moist environment that keeps it as juicy as pork can be and surrounds it with the purest of tomato sauces.

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds boned pork loin
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary chopped very fine
  • 14 juniper berries, mashed in a mortar or ground very fine
  • Salt
  • Black pepper in a grinder
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup canned Italian peeled plum tomatoes, passed through a food mill, with their juice

Method

  1. Turn on the oven to 475°.
  2. Rub the meat all over with the chopped rosemary, the mashed juniper, salt, and several grindings of pepper.
  3. Smear the bottom of a baking pan with ½ tablespoon of the butter. Put in the meat, dotting it on top with tablespoons of the butter. Do not cover the pan. Place in the middle level of the preheated oven.
  4. Turn the meat after 45 minutes. Bake for another 15 minutes, then remove it from the oven.
  5. Choose a heavy, lidded casserole that can contain the pork snugly. Transfer the meat to the casserole, leaving in the baking pan all the melted fat. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and the pureed tomato. Cover, place the pot over a burner of the range, turn on the heat to low, and cook for 1½ hours. Turn the meat from time to time. If you find during the cooking that the juices in the pan are drying up, add up to ¼ cup of water. Serve promptly when done.

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