Roast pork with autumn vegetables
This succulent pork takes on autumn hues when surrounded with seasonal vegetables. The recipe calls for finocchio, carrots and zucchini, but other combinations would work equally well — for example, red onions, Belgian endive and potatoes. Or use your imagination.
You will need a large roasting pan, preferably ceramic. Do not salt the meat before roasting to avoid drawing out the juices. Instead, give the pork a thin coating of olive oil as it goes into the oven. This will seal in the juices and make for a scrumptious roast.
1-1/2 pound (750 g.) pork fillet
1 clove garlic
2 finocchio bulbs
2 tbsp. olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1 branch rosemary, fresh or dried
Cut the pork fillet into 4-5 large pieces.
Peel the garlic, slice off the ends and slice in half lengthwise. Remove the green germ if necessary, then slice into slivers. Using a sharp knife, stab each piece of pork in a couple of places and insert the garlic slivers.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 7 (425 F, 220 C).
Rinse the finocchio bulbs, cut off and discard the bottoms and the green branches, slice the bulbs in half lengthwise, then slice into pieces about 1/3 inch (one cm) wide.
Peel the carrots, slice off the ends and slice lengthwise into halves or quarters.
Rinse the zucchini, slice off the ends and cut into thick pieces on the bias.
Coat the bottom and sides of your roasting dish with 1 tbsp. olive oil. Place the pork pieces in the center and turn them over in the olive oil so that they are well coated.
Surround the pork with the veggies — either in separate piles, which makes for easier serving later, or mixed together. Drizzle the vegetables with the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil. Grind on some black pepper and scatter the rosemary about.
Place in the oven. Roast for 15 minutes. Turn the heat down to gas mark 6 (400 F, 200 C) and roast for another 15 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and give the veggies a stir. Return to the oven and continue roasting for another 30 minutes, or until the pork is a crispy gold and the veggies are somewhat browned.
Remove from the oven and sprinkle with salt. Allow to rest for about 5 minutes before carving the meat. Place the meat on a platter and surround with the veggies. Serves 4.
If you’d like to make a light gravy for the meat, remove the cooked pork and vegetables from the roasting pan and set aside. Pour 1/2 cup (1/8 liter) dry white wine, dry rosé or water into the roasting pan. Scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spatula to incorporate the browned bits into the liquid. Return to the oven for 5 minutes, then strain through a sieve into a saucepan. Place the pan over a low flame.
Carve the pork and reheat briefly in the oven with the veggies. Serve as above, drizzling the warm gravy over the meat.