Roasted Pork Loin with Kale and Polenta

  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 2 hr 10 min
  • Prep: 20 min
  • Inactive: 15 min
  • Cook: 1 hr 35 min
  • Yield: s: 4 servings with leftovers
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Ingredients

5 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fennel pollen or ground fennel seeds

4 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 rolled boneless pork loin roast (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)

2 sprigs rosemary, broken or cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces (8 to 10 pieces total)

Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper

2 tablespoons EVOO, plus more for drizzling

1 cup dry white wine

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup whole milk

1 bunch Tuscan kale, stemmed

Juice of 1/2 lemon

Freshly grated nutmeg

1 cup quick-cooking polenta

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup grated pecorino

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. 
  2. Combine the pancetta, fennel pollen and garlic in a small bowl. 
  3. Cut 18 to 20 slits (2 inches deep) in the pork roast. Alternately fill the slits with the pancetta mixture and a piece of rosemary. Sprinkle the pork liberally with salt and pepper. 
  4. Heat the EVOO in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pork and cook until browned on all sides. Transfer to the oven and roast for 45 minutes. Douse the pork with the wine and roast until a thermometer inserted into the center of the pork registers 165 degrees F, 20 to 30 minutes more. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the kale. Bring the stock and milk to a low boil in another pot for the polenta. Cook the kale for 7 to 8 minutes, then remove to a platter using tongs. Drizzle with EVOO and lemon juice and season with salt, pepper and a little nutmeg.
  6. Whisk the polenta into the stock mixture and cook, whisking, until thick, 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the butter and then the cheese, and remove from the heat. 
  7. Slice the pork and serve with the polenta and kale. 

Cook’s Note

The roasted pork can be covered and refrigerated for a make-ahead meal. Bring to room temperature, then reheat in a 325 degree F oven, covered, for 15 minutes, adding 1 cup chicken stock to the pot to keep it moist. Uncover and heat for 15 to 20 minutes more. You can prep the kale ahead of time and store it in a paper towel-lined plastic bag in the refrigerator.

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