This porchetta marinade for pork tenderloin is a fabulously easy marinade to have in your back pocket. A copy of Marinades: The Quick-Fix Way to Turn Everyday Food Into Exceptional Fare, with 400 Recipes was provided to me by the publisher for the purposes of an honest review. Affiliate links have been used to link to items I am discussing. Recipe is at the bottom of the post.
I am SO sorry for the extended silence. At first I was just acclimating to our apartment and new city. And finishing the posts about Rome. Then my mom got here. And then we left for the Amalfi coast, which was amazing and exhausting–every night I opened my laptop and pretty much fell asleep on it. So… yeah.
But anyway, we are now here in Calabria–to be specific, we are in Rende, a university town outside of Cosenza. We have found the local grocery store, the best fruttivendola (kind of a fresh produce store) and a bar (Italian cafe) at which to have cornetti, cannoli and cappuccino every morning. I got prosciutto san daniele and salami from the grocery, cheese (a young pecorino) from the grocery, and seasonal fruits and veggies, as well as bread, from the fruttivendola (citrus, strawberries, cherries, tomatoes, etc). And every day that we are in Rende, this has formed our lunch.
But let’s talk about what’s really important. Yes we have scoped out the best gelato and yes it is like 3 steps from our apartment.
Soon they will know us as well as the barista does!
One last bit of minutiae about where we are living: “western” American food is quite the rage here! All of it cowboy themed! You can file that under things I was not expecting in Italy. Here is an example:
No we have not eaten there. Although I will not lie: the eating out choices are kinda slim here. Probably because the area is not wealthy and is student populated. We have been to a surprisingly tasty burger joint. And cooked dinner at home twice (post coming soonish).
OK about this porchetta marinade.
I found the marinade in Marinades: The Quick-Fix Way to Turn Everyday Food Into Exceptional Fare, with 400 Recipes by Lucy Vasirfirer. This cookbook is the kind of quick fix miracle worker that I turn to when company is coming and I want to serve a hunk of meat instead of a one pot meal. I served this for that Italian themed meal I served to my family right before coming to Italy. When I served it to my family, it was as pork with asparagus and homemade bread. The next day however, I served it with a pasta dish that incorporated the leftover asparagus and morel mushrooms we found (stay tuned for recipe), so it is a versatile marinade.
Traditional porchetta is an elaborate affair, involving gutting, deboning and stuffing a pig before rolling it and tying it! Someday I would love to eat it–but maybe not make it. Vasirfirer envisions this marinade for pork loin, but I took it a step easier still and used pork tenderloin, which of course also made it a healthier dish. Everything about this marinade expresses what I love most about Italian food–and wished I saw more of in American Italian restaurants. Lemon, loads of fresh herbs, some spices, copious olive oil, loads of garlic, and no pasta necessary.
- 7 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 t fennel seeds
- 1/2 t black peppercorns
- zest of 1 lemon
- 6-8 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 T minced fresh rosemary
- 2 t minced fresh thyme
- 1/4 t aleppo pepper or hot red pepper flakes
- 1 t kosher salt
- 2 pork tenderloins
Place 6 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a small bowl.
Place the peppercorns into a small frying pan over medium heat. Shake the pan occasionally for 1-2 minutes. Then add the fennel seeds. Shake and toast until the spices are fragrant--do not let them burn. It will take around 1 minute.
Scrape the toasted spices into a spice grinder. Grind until coarsely ground.
Scrape the spices into the olive oil and then add the lemon zest, garlic, rosemary and thyme, aleppo pepper and salt. Whisk until everything is evenly incorporated.
Trim the silver skin off of the pork tenderloin
Place the marinade into a ziplock bag and add the trimmed pork tenderloin. Squeeze the air out of the bag and seal. Massage the marinade into the pork. Place into the refrigerator overnight.
When you are ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 400 F.
Place a large oven-safe (NOT nonstick) skillet over medium high heat. Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. When it is hot, add the pork. Brown on one side, about 6-8 minutes. Turn the pork over and then place in the oven. Roast until desired doneness--for me that is an internal temperature of about 145 F.
Remove from the oven and let sit for 10 minutes before slicing.