Pork in CrostaPrint This
- 2 tbsp (60 mL) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 2 lb (1 kg) pork or beef tenderloin
- 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves only, finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary, needles only, finely chopped
- 1 loaf crusty Tuscan-style bread (long enough to cover the entire piece of meat)
- 8 to 10 long, thin slices of prosciutto or pancetta, thinly sliced
Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C).
Heat 2 tbsp (30 mL) of the olive oil in a frying pan over high heat. When it shimmers, sear the meat on all sides. Transfer the seared meat to a plate and season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl, combine the sage and rosemary. Massage them into the meat and set aside.
Cut the loaf of bread in half lengthwise, leaving it attached on one side. Open it like a book and pull out some of the mollica (soft bread) from the middle (you can either eat it or discard it).
Put the meat on the bottom half of the loaf. If you want, you can top it with any of the herb mixture that’s left. Close the bread so that it covers the meat. I like to drizzle more olive oil over the bread at this point, but I’ll leave that up to you.
Lay the prosciutto widthwise across the bread, covering the top of the loaf. To hold it all together, wrap it in kitchen twine. Put the in crosta on a baking sheet or ovenproof dish.
Roast for about 40 minutes, until the pork reaches 160°F (71°C). Remove it from the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes so the juices redistribute.
Slice and serve.
Sometimes you come across a recipe that is so incredibly easy and so incredibly delicious that it’s like a gift.
I had this on my first visit to Carlotta’s agriturismo and loved it. The following year when I went back I asked if I could have it again, so they gave me the ingredients, the broad strokes of the recipe, and told me to go for it! In essence, it takes ordinary Tuscan ingredients—sage, rosemary, olive oil, Tuscan bread—and with no fancy techniques makes something special. The bread gets crunchy and the meat stays moist and is flavored by the herbs. It works equally well with pork or beef tenderloin. In fact, you can think of it as a simple Tuscan farmer’s pork or beef Wellington.
My family loves it, and it’s become part of our repertoire.