Thursday, 29 August 2013

The last supper - Saltimbocca de porco ás avezzas

Medieval days are over and the Castro Marim time machine is put to rest for another year.The costumes are put away,the stalls have gone, the revellers have left town and the travelling players have moved on to their next festival.The town is now officially de-medievalised.Back to normal but with culinary moments to savour.One of my favourites this year was the main plate I cooked for the final dinner on Sunday night.I made a variation on a theme of saltimbocca and called it inside out saltimbocca.One normally takes one veal, pork, or chicken fillet and having beaten it flat, lays a slice of prosciutto on top followed by a large sage leaf and then rolls it up and secures it with a cocktail stick.I took a whole loin of pork and then rolled presunto and sage around the outside.I then roasted it having first seared it and what I ended up with was a juicy piece of pork in a parcel of pork crackling.I served it with a compota de maças reinetas (compote of russet apples),celeriac and pudim ervilhas( green pea potage).The dish quite easily serves 4 but its better with the band when you can juggle the quantities and serve more portions.

Presunto wrapped porco-inside out saltimbocca
Serves 4

1 tenderloin of pork
5-8 slices of presunto (depending on how big your tenderloin is)
handful of sage leaves
a few cherry tomatoes
clove of garlic
a few Tablespoons of white wine
salt & pepper
1. Remove the "silver skin" from the pork tenderloin and season generously with salt and pepper.
2. Lay out a sheet of plastic wrap about 6 inches longer than the tenderloin.  Lay slices of presunto down the middle vertically, slightly overlapping the edges to fit the length of the tenderloin.
3. Lay sage leaves down the center of the prosciutto, slightly overlapping.
4. Place the pork on top of the sage.
5. Now roll it up! Using the plastic wrap, roll the prosciutto tightly around the pork tenderloin - just like sushi. It is very important to roll tightly. If there is slack it will open as it cooks.
6. Tuck the bottom piece of plastic under the top. Turn both ends to tighten even more so and secure.

Preheat oven to 205 C/ 400 F
Remove the tenderloin from the plastic. 
With a little olive oil in the pan, heat until nice and hot. Sear on all sides  starting with the seam side DOWN being  gentle and careful not to break/tear the prosciutto as you sear it.
Once seared on all sides, toss a handful of cherry tomatoes into the pan with a clove of garlic and the white wine. 
Finish cooking in the oven 18-30 minutes depending on the size of your pork tenderloin.
Remove and allow to rest at least 15 minutes before slicing.

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