I used to shoot a lot in the studio where Ellen used to work, but never
with her. She was the woman who always would call me up and telling
me that I forgot props in the studio. A while later we starting working
together and we have so much fun at our shoots. Ellen will never give
up–she’s always looking for the best angle. And she has the most
amazing gray curly hair.
Herb-Filled Tuscan Pork Roast
“I first tasted this succulent and satisfying pork roast when
our dear friend Sally Schneider, master chef, culinary
alchemist, and creator of
improvieslife.com served it as part
of a birthday dinner she prepared for me. Since then it has
become my family’s favorite main course along with her
recipe for Celery Root & Apple Purée, for celebratory dinners.
And what is left over is usually turned into a satisfying hash!”
7-pound pork loin, boned (have the butcher do this,
reserving the bones), fat trimmed
Tuscan Herb salt (see below)
4 rosemary branches, 10” long
2 teaspoons Kosher salt
3 ounces ( 4 to 5 thin slices) lean pancetta
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
Tuscan Herb Salt
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoon Kosher salt
1 small bunch fresh sage (about 30 leaves)
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1. Pat the pork loin dry.
2. Using a knife-sharpening steel
or a long-handled wooden spoon, pierce a hole lengthwise
through the center of the loin.
3. Working from either end of
the loin, use your fingers to stuff all but 1 tablespoon of the
herb salt into the hole.
4. Insert 1 of the rosemary branches
into each end so that it forms a tassel.
5. Mix the remaining
herb salt with the
2 teaspoons salt and rub it all over the
6. Arrange the pancetta slices, slightly overlapping
each other, down the length of the roast.
7. Arrange the 2
remaining rosemary sprigs on top.
8. Tie the roast at 1-inch
intervals with cotton string to give it a neat shape.
to a platter, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at
least 2 hours (up to 24 hours).
10. Bring to room temperature
for 1 hour before roasting.
11. Preheat the over to 450°F.
12. Place the rack of rib bones curved-side down in a shallow
13. Pat the roast dry with paper towels and rub
with the olive oil.
14. Place the roast on the rack and roast for
15. Remove the pan from the oven, turn the roast
over, and baste with a few tablespoons of the wine.
the roast to the oven and reduce the temperature to 350°F.
17. Cook for
2 hours longer, turning the roast and
basting it with wine every 20 minutes; reserve
2 cup of wine
for the sauce.
18. The roast is done when an instant-read
thermometer inserted in the center registers 145°F.
19. Transfer the roast to a platter and pour the pan juices into
a measuring cup. If the meat on the rack of bones is still pink
and you wish to serve the ribs, place on a baking sheet and
return to the oven for about 15 minutes.
20. Meanwhile, place
the roasting pan over two burners over moderate heat; when
it starts to sizzle, add the reserved
2 cup wine and cook for
2 minutes, scraping up the drippings from the bottom of the
21. Add to the pan juices in the measuring cup; let the
fat rise to the surface, about 5 minutes.
22. Skim off the fat
and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
23. Remove the
strings and carve the roast into thin slices.
24. If serving the
ribs, remove the rack from the pan and cut through the ribs.
Arrange the meat and ribs on a platter and serve the pan
juices on the side. You can wrap and tie the pork loin up to 1
day ahead; cover and refrigerate. Bring to room temperature
for 1 hour before roasting.
25. On a cutting board, mince
the garlic with the salt.
26. Place the herbs in a mound and
coarsely chop them.
27. Add the garlic salt and chop them
together to make a coarse rub.
*Use the salt right away, or let it dry, uncovered, in a bowl for
a few days.
*The dried salt rub can be stored indefinitely in a clean dry jar.