There's something special about lighting the wood fire and slow cooking a roast. You get a beautiful flavour that conventional ovens just can't replicate. Wood fired pizza ovens seem to be gaining popularity and they're not just for making pizza - try this delicious rolled pork loin for something different.
You can of course create this in a normal oven too - let us know how it tastes!
- 40 g butter
- 4 tblsp olive oil
- 2 baby fennel, sliced
- 4 large eshallots, peeled and sliced
- 2 tsp sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp cracked white pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- 10 sage leaves torn
- 1 boneless loin of pork about 2kg, butterflied
- 5 slices of prosciutto
- 1 ½ tblsp fennel seeds, roasted
- 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
Place the butter and half of the olive oil into a heavy based fry pan and put over a medium heat. Add the fennel and eshallots with 1 tsp of sea salt and half of the white pepper and cook, stirring occasionally. After 10 minutes, add in the garlic and continue to cook until the vegetables are softened about 15 – 20 minutes, then add in your sage leaves and turn off the heat.
Place the cooked vegetables into a bowl and leave to cool for a few minutes and then mix through your bread crumbs. Taste to check the seasoning, but don’t make it too salty as the prosciutto will also give saltiness.
For the pork
Lay out your pork loin on a chopping board with the pork skin side touching the board and evenly spread the stuffing on the inside of the pork, leaving a 2 cm border around the edges. Place your slices of prosciutto over the stuffing, one piece slightly overlapping the next.
Using both hands, roll the pork into a tight cylinder. With your trussing rope make a knot at the left hand end and twirl the rope around your hand and thread on and pull tight, continue this all the way up the pork and tie a secure knot at the end.
Place the remaining salt and white pepper with the fennel seeds in a mortor and pestle and pound a little so as to crush the fennel, add in the remaining olive oil and mix together.
Using your hands, rub this mixture evenly over the outside of the pork skin, and tuck some under the skin as well. Place the pork on a rack in a roasting tray, leave out of the fridge so that the meat comes to room temperature.
Light your wood fired oven at least 1 and a half hours prior as you want it to reach about 220 degrees. Place your pork in the oven. Close the door of the oven and check your meat every 5 minutes initially, so as to check that the oven is not too hot and burning the outside of the pork. If it is burning, move your tray further away from the coals. Roll your pork over, several times so that it cooks evenly and gets colour on all sides. Leave the pork to cook for about 1 hour 20 - 30 minutes. Check using a metal skewer that it is cooked, when you remove the skewer it, place it to your lip and it should be hot, but not as to burn you, also no blood should come out from the pork, when you remove the skewer.
Leave to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place. Slice your pork and serve.