Cooking inspires me in a similar way the ebb and flow of the seasons do. The heartwarming meals that accompany the changing of the leaves and the rapidly dropping temperatures—a reminder that another year is ending in only a few short months. It is an opportunity to change my heart and feed my soul.
There’s nothing quite like the first, crisp fall day—the kind of day that indicates it is time to pull out your sweaters, place an extra blanket on your bed, and modify your weekly recipe rotation. Creamy fall chowder replaces fish on the grill, bbq chicken is substituted with heavily buttered chicken pot pie, and oven roasted meats take the place of grilled ones.
The recipe below is an Italian-inspired variation of traditional pork roast. I usually serve it with creamy parmesan polenta and homemade sour applesauce. The smell of this rich, succulent meat cooking in the oven is enough to make you wish that the autumn lasted all year ’round. Serve it with a pumpkin ale or heavy amber to make your stomach rejoice.
Mince garlic and finely chop rosemary; mix together with olive oil in a small bowl with 1 T salt. Pat roast dry to ensure rub will adhere to the meat. Sprinkle generously with fresh ground pepper. Rub the garlic rosemary mixture over the pork and wrap the pancetta slices around the pork. Place the pork in a roasting pan. Cover and refrigerate for at least 3-4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pour 1 cup of broth and 1 cup of wine into the roasting pan. Add shallots to liquid. While roasting, add more broth and wine to the pan juices; baste several times. Roast the pork until a meat thermometer inserted into the center registers 160 degrees F or 1 ½ to 2 hours. Transfer the pork to a cutting board; cover with aluminum foil to rest for 15 minutes. Separate pan juices to pour over the top once the roast is carved. Serves 8.