Oh boy do I love braciole! As a small child, I remember the meatballs, sausage, and braciole would be on the table steaming from being cooked in the Sunday Gravy all day! Most of the kids would go for the meatballs. I went straight for the braciole!
Both beef and pork braciole were made by my two Grandmothers and Mother for Sunday Dinners. And all of it was superb! For this recipe, however, we are not going to make traditional braciole braised in tomato sauce for hours. Instead, we are going to stuff a pork loin with the classic braciole ingredients and roast it with a little white wine. We are looking to really appreciate the flavors and texture of the pork without smothering all of it with tomato sauce. (For a little twist, I snuck in a small amount of fennel and rosemary from the family of classic porchetta herbs. It gives the loin some fragrance and flavor complexity on the palate).
Don’t get me wrong! There’s nothing like a melt in your mouth braciole braised in the tomato sauce! I just thought it would be nice to create a more delicate and in my opinion more elegant version of this classic. Besides, I’ve been racking my brain deciding on what I will pair a delicious Finger Lakes white wine with. This is my first blog post where I’m doing food and wine pairing. I thought this rendition of braciole would be perfect with a Finger Lakes’ Sauvignon Blanc. And yes, we will be cooking with the exact same wine we will be drinking.
The first thing we are going to do is take the pork loin out of the fridge, trim it, filet it and let it sit out at room temp while we prepare our ingredients. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees as well.
The loin usually comes with a fat cap. I like to trim some of it off leaving a thin layer for flavor and juiciness. Once the loin is trimmed, filet it at about ¾ of an inch thickness. With a meat tenderizer, pound sections that may be too thick so the loin is consistently the same thickness.
Lay your fileted loin out on a clean working surface and begin to season it in the following order. When seasoning with the ingredients that go directly onto the meat such as the spices and herbs, do your best to massage the ingredients into the meat and spread them out evenly.
Season with salt and pepper first. Then the minced rosemary and fennel seeds. Add the garlic paste then the parsley. Now add the breadcrumbs and then top with the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Now evenly drizzle the extra virgin olive oil.
At this point, we are going to carefully roll up the fileted loin and tie it as pictured. Try to get a tight consistent roll by tucking the edge under when you first begin and pulling back a bit as you roll. Once the roast is tied, season the outside with salt and pepper, rub with olive oil, and place in a roasting pan with 2 ½ cups of white wine.
Place the roast in the oven at 550 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes and then lower the temperature to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a meat thermometer, remove the roast when the internal temperature reaches 135 degrees Fahrenheit and let rest. The roast will come up to 145 degrees on its own out of the oven. Resting will also allow the roast to relax and release some more juices into the pan.
Remove the roast from the pan and place it on a cutting board.
Through a strainer, pour the contents of the roasting pan into a small saucepot. Add a little butter flour and white wine and bring to a simmer while whisking in the ingredients evenly. Shut off the flame. This should only take a couple minutes.
Slice your pork loin into ¾ inch pieces, spoon some sauce over the top and serve with creamy polenta and an acidic light to medium-bodied white wine. I will be serving this dish with a New York State “Finger Lakes” Sauvignon Blanc. It pairs very well!
For the pork loin . . .
½ Pork Loin (about 4 lbs) fileted and pounded flat where needed.
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp coarse black pepper
1 tsp of dried rosemary finely minced or put in a coffee grinder
1 tsp of fennel seed finely minced or put in a coffee grinder
4 cloves of garlic pasted
1 cup of coarsely chopped fresh parsley
1 ½ cup of plain breadcrumbs
¾ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano grated cheese
1 ½ tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
Butchers string for tying pork loin
2 ½ cups of white wine
For the polenta . . .
2 cups of water
2 cups of milk
1 cup of dry corn grits polenta grade
2 tablespoons of parmigiano-reggiano
1 tablespoon of salted butter
Salt to taste
Simple Fast Polenta Recipe
Bring water and milk to a boil
Stir in polenta
Let simmer for 20 minutes while stirring occasionally
Stir in salt, cheese, and butter at the end and serve.