RECIPE

Roasted Pork Loin with Kale and Polenta

Embellish the taste of a pork roast with rosemary and pancetta. Serve with cheesy polenta and kale.


Cook’s Note: The roasted pork can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal.

Ingredients

  • 5 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fennel pollen or ground fennel seed
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 1 rolled boneless pork loin roast (2 1/2-3 pounds)
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, broken or cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (8-10 pieces total)
  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup quick-cooking polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese

Preparation

Pre-heat the oven to 325°F.


Combine the pancetta, fennel pollen and garlic in a small bowl.


Cut 18-20 slits (2 inches deep) in the pork roast. Alternately fill the slits with the pancetta mixture and a piece of rosemary. Sprinkle the pork liberally with salt and pepper.


Heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Douse the pork with the wine and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 165°F, 20-30 minutes more. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.


Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the kale. Bring the stock and milk to a low boil in another pot for the polenta. Cook the kale for 7-8 minutes, then remove to a platter using tongs. Drizzle with EVOO and lemon juice and season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg.


Whisk the polenta into the stock mixture and cook, whisking, until thick, 2-3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the butter followed by the cheese, then remove from the heat.


Slice the pork and serve with the polenta and kale.

Cook’s Note: The roasted pork can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Bring to room temperature, then reheat in a 325°F oven, covered, for 15 minutes, adding 1 cup chicken stock to the pot to keep it moist. Uncover and heat for 15-20 minutes more. You can prep the kale ahead of time and store it in a paper towel-lined plastic bag in the refrigerator.

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