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Old 08-16-2011, 05:23 PM  
somebody shut me the fark up.
caseydog's Avatar
Join Date: 07-08-10
Location: Texas

My photo is of the Ponte Vecchio, a medieval bridge in Firenze, Italy (Florence). I shot it from my lunch table at a ristorante on via de Bardi where the food and service were very good, and the view of the quirky, colorful Ponte Vecchio was fantastic.

Here is more information on Ponte Vecchio:

And here is the website of the ristorante:

Firenze is in Tuscany, so I chose to make a traditional Tuscan Pork Loin Roast, which uses a Tuscan Herb Salt and fresh rosemary to infuse the meat with aromatic herbs. You actually poke a hole through the loin with a long stick, like the handle of a wooden spoon, and stuff the hole with the herb salt and some sprigs of rosemary, then rub the roast down with olive oil and herb salt, and let it rest in the fridge.

Tuscan herb salt is made by grinding kosher salt (or sea salt) with a clove or two of garlic in a mortar and pestle. Then, you chop up some fresh sage and rosemary, and mix the herbs and garlic salt together. Using the wet rub on the outside of the roast, and the dry rub stuffed in the middle, you get a really nice infusion of flavor, without having a "spike" in the middle. If you look closely at the photo, you can see where the hole runs through the top slice, with a little herb salt in it. I was really surprised that the bite with the hole in it was not much different than the rest of the meat -- it was very evenly flavored.

I roasted it with indirect heat and a little bit of apple wood on the 22.5 Kettle, at about 350, basting it from time-to-time with some dry white wine -- I used Pinot Grigio.

After the cook, while the meat rested, I reduced the wine and pan drippings to make a gravy.

It turned out great. My kettle stayed right at 350 the whole cook. It was tender and juicy, but the flavor was the star of the show. You could definitely taste the herbs, but they didn't overwhelm the pork. I ate about four slices, with a bread roll -- the gravy is awesome sopping juice for bread, BTW.

I will be making this again. I gotta' make this for my Italian family sometime.

Buon appetito!
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