Sunday Dinner: Prosciutto Wrapped Pork Roast

A large part of cooking success depends upon choosing a good recipe.  People will often complain a recipe came out badly, and then I’ll find out they typed something into Google and used any old recipe that came up.

If I’m trying a new recipe, I prefer to use bloggers I trust (Stacey Snacks always, and Smitten Kitchen) or Ina Garten. I trust Ina enough to make her recipes without test driving them first.

I also trust highly reviewed recipes from well-regarded sites, such as Epicurious or the Food Network. I usually find that for the most part, a large number of reviews can be trusted.  Three five-star reviews are not very compelling, but 300 4 and a half star reviews are usually a good indicator of a quality recipe. There’s enough people who tried it and reviewed to account for mistakes, different tastes, etc. 

One other thing to keep in mind is the site’s audience- AllRecipes tends to attract more “middle America” tastes and home cooks (think chicken marinated in Italian dressing), whereas something like Food and Wine's website will bring in cooks and recipes that are a little more gourmet (think chicken banh mis with homemade kimchi).  Use sources that fall where you do in the homestyle to gourmet spectrum.

This past Sunday dinner was an example of a recipe well chosen.  My family was over and I wanted to make a pork roast, so I selected an old recipe of Giada’s de Laurentiis’ with 228 great reviews. 

The recipe called for a boneless pork loin, wrapped in pancetta (I used prosciutto), and then roasted in a mix of chicken stock and wine for an hour. It was quite delicious, and definitely an elegant and easy main course. 

I made a few changes to alter it to my family’s taste, so the recipe below is my version, with the link to the original provided as always.

Prosciutto wrapped Pork Roast, adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
Serves 6
3.5-4 lb boneless pork loin roast, tied
¼ lb prosciutto or pancetta
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, very finely chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1 ½ tsp garlic salt
Generous amount salt and pepper
1 ½ cups white wine
1 ½ cups chicken stock

Place your pork roast in a roasting pan or large baking dish. Drizzle over with oil, then rub generously all over with salt, pepper, rosemary, and garlic salt. Drape prosciutto or pancetta over the roast. Let sit for at least one hour, or overnight.

When ready to cook, preheat oven to 400 degrees.  

Add ½ cup of wine and ½ cup of stock to the pan with the pork. Place in oven and bake for 1 hour, adding an additional ½ cup each wine and stock every 20 minutes. Cook for an hour, or longer until desired temperature. Giada advises 145, my parents prefer their pork done to 160, so that’s what I did. It took about 1 hr and 10 minutes. 

I served this with roasted potatoes. Recipe, if you can call it that, is below.

Roasted Potatoes
1 ½ lbs baby red potatoes
Generous amount olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400. While oven preheats, line a large aluminum baking sheet with foil and quarter the red potatoes (or cut into sixths if bigger).  

Place potatoes on baking sheet and drizzle with lots of olive oil (I probably use three tablespoons or so), and sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Roast for about an hour, until browned and crispy, turning once or twice during baking.

Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and serve alongside roast.

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