Pancetta Wrapped Pre‑R.V. Pork

pancetta-wrapped pork roast loin chopWe are leaving tomorrow (well by the time you read this it will be today…) for 4 days in Sonoma in an R.V.  You read that right…Recreational Vehicle. It’s a first for Sup!

This is my last chance to make a nice meal at home for a few days. So I want to make something kind of special. 

Now, special need not mean fancy. In fact special can be downright rustic. And I think rustic is a great way to describe this pork dish.

It’s a Pancetta-Wrapped Roast Pork Loin Chop. I am going to roast it with some whole cipollini onions.

Now pork is quite easily my favorite meat. It’s lean and flavorful. And if you resist the urge to overcook it is juicy and succulent too.

But in fact because pork is so lean, it’s easy to overcook. Besides, somewhere in America’s cultural background Americans were led to believe that pork must be cooked through. Hogwash. Pork should be served pink.

Which is what makes this method such a great way to cook pork. Brining the chop and wrapping it in pancetta not only adds additional spice and sweet porky flavor, but it also helps you keep from overcooking the meat.

Especially if you use an instant read thermometer and take the meat out of the oven, just shy of 140 degrees F… Oh and let it rest. It’s important.

preparing pork loin chop for roastingServes 2

I bay leaf, broken into several pieces
2 1/2 cups room temperature water
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 boneless pork loin chop (1 1/2 to 2” thick about 3/4 lb)
6–8 cipollini or very small white onions, unpeeled
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1‑tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic cloves, minced
2 ‑tablespoons finely chopped rosemary, plus several sprigs
3 ounces pancetta, thinly sliced (bacon is a fine substitute)
1‑teaspoon unsalted butter, softened
1‑teaspoon all-purpose flour
1‑cup chicken stock, preferably homemade

In a medium sized bowl add the bay leaf pieces, water, sugar and salt. Mix well to dissolve sugar and salt.

Put the pork loin chop into an appropriately sized a zip-lock bag. Pour the brining liquid into the bag and seal tightly. Removing as much air as possible. Set the bag into a bowl to avoid accidents and refrigerate 2–4 days. 

When ready to roast the pork. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F.

Score a small x on the root end of each onion. This will make it peel more easily after it has roasted.

Remove the pork from the marinade and dry it well. Rub the oil all over the meat and season it with salt and pepper. 

Sprinkle the pork with chopped rosemary and minced garlic on both sides. 

Wrap the pork very carefully with pancetta, overlapping strips slightly. Use toothpicks to secure pancetta, if necessary. 

roasting a pork chop with pancetta and cipollinisPlace a rosemary sprig on top; tie pork with kitchen twine, and remove toothpicks. Return pork to skillet. Scatter onions and rosemary sprigs around pork. Roast in oven, basting occasionally with cooking juices, until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees on an instant-read thermometer, 30 to 35 minutes. 

Remove from oven. Transfer pork and onions to a platter; cover it loosely to keep warm. Let it rest about 6 minutes before slicing.

Make pan sauce: Add the softened butter and flour to a small bowl. Mix well. Set aside.
Place the same pan you cooked the pork in over medium heat. Add the stock to the pan and scraping bottom of skillet to loosen browned bits. Bring to a boil; reduce liquid slightly, about 2 minutes. Whisk in butter mixture; cook until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Slice pork in 1/2 pieces across the grain, and drizzle with sauce.


Greg Henry