However, the fact remained that I was stuck with enormous amounts of pork loin and developed this recipe after reading
It is very important that you get precisely the right cut of pork for this recipe to be successful. Ask your butcher to cut an eight-rib section from a loin, and to French trim it. If he seems to be having trouble with this, explain that what you want is for the joint to be trimmed like a rack of lamb (the chine bone removed and the ends of the ribs trimmed to expose them). Make sure that all trimmed meat scraps and bones are included when you collect the meat. The skin should be removed in one piece with most of the fat attached to it, the actual loin itself must still have a thin covering of fat on one side. This recipe does not normally include crackling, but if your guests would be horrified by this omission, by all means ask the butcher to score the skin and include it, albeit cooked separately. A simple method to produce good crackling is given below. Do not be reluctant to boss your butcher around, you are not declaring war, merely giving him the opportunity to show off his skills. Incidentally, I have ordered this cut from the meat counter of my local Sainsbury’s with perfectly satisfactory results.
Finally, pay considerable attention to the quality of the pork. Most pork in Britain is reared to the specifications of the bacon producers, resulting in cheap lean meat with virtually no fat between skin and meat. Pork like this has poor cooking quality, tends to be dry and has at best an insipid taste. Mr
Put the pork in a tray and massage with the olive oil, vinegar and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Strip the rosemary leaves off the twig and scatter these on the meat. Leave for 1 hour whilst you prepare the gravy base and stuffing.
This part of the recipe can be prepared a day ahead if you wish.
Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan and add the bones and trimmings, season and cook on a medium flame until golden brown. Add the diced vegetables and continue cooking until they too are coloured. Turn the flame up high, add the vinegar and sugar, and boil until the liquid has evaporated and the bones and vegetables are beginning to caramelise. Pour in the stock, skim and continue boiling until the liquid is nearly evaporated again. Add a litre of water and skim thoroughly. Turn the heat down to medium and reduce by half. Pass through a sieve and discard the solids.
Heat the oil in a frying pan and sauté the pancetta and onions until slightly collapsed and coloured. Take off the heat and add the herbs. Allow to cool completely in a bowl. When cold add the sausagemeat, mix thoroughly then season generously. Add the soaked breadcrumbs and lastly the prunes, then mix again. Do not make the stuffing too far ahead.
Cut the loin into two sections of equal length (4 ribs each). Form the stuffing into a sausage shape, the same length as one piece of the meat, and press it into the hollow made by the ribs. Position the other piece of pork so the ribs are on the other side of the stuffing. Interlock the protruding rib ends to form a neat joint and tie securely, but not too tightly, in four places. If you try and tie it too tightly the stuffing will be squeezed out. Weigh the assembled joint.
Pour off any excess fat from the roasting dish and put on a high flame. Add the gravy base and bring to a boil, scraping the dish to dislodge any flavoursome residue from the roast. Reduce by half, check seasoning and transfer to a sauceboat. This method produces a rather thin gravy; if a thick one is desired simply stir in
Cut the strings and pull the two pieces of meat away from the stuffing. Arrange the stuffing in the centre of a hot serving platter. Cut between each rib to produce eight chops and arrange these around the stuffing. Moisten with
© 1999 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.