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Roast Loin of Pork a la Provencale

Ask the butcher to skin, chine and bone the loin of pork, so that it will be easier to carve when roasted. Your 1.4 kg /3 lb pork loin should consist of 6 chops so that it will serve 6 people easily.

ingredients

serves 6
1.4 kg (3 lb) loin of pork (6 large chops), boned, skinned and chined
6 dried mushrooms
2 large garlic cloves
freshly ground black pepper
salt
few sprigs of parsley, to garnish

for the stuffed vegetables

15 g (1/2 oz) butter
45 ml (3 tbsp) finely chopped onion
225 g (8 oz) pork sausage-meat
90 ml (6 tbsp) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
15 ml (1 tbsp) finely chopped fresh parsley
2.5 ml (1/2 tsp) each finely chopped fresh tarragon and chives
6 large ripe tomatoes
175 g (6 oz) large white mushrooms, stems removed

method

1. Soak the dried mushrooms in warm water for about 30 minutes. Pour the mushrooms and their soaking water into a small pan and simmer gently until the mushrooms are soft and swollen, and the water has almost evaporated. Drain off any remaining liquid and cut any hard ends off the mushroom stalks.

2. Reserve 3 of the mushrooms, then cut each remaining mushroom into 4 strips, making 12 strips in all. Cut 1 of the garlic cloves into 12 slivers. Reserve the other garlic clove for later use.

3. Make 12 deep slits in the pork fat with the point of a sharp knife and push a strip of mushroom and a sliver of garlic well down into each slit. Season the joint all over with freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle only the fat with salt. Leave the pork to stand at room temperature for 2 hours, so that the meat absorbs the flavours and loses its chill. Towards the end of this time, heat the oven to 200°C (400°F) gas 6.

4. Transfer the pork to a roasting tin and roast for 1 1/2 hours or until thoroughly cooked, basting the pork occasionally with the juices in the roasting tin. It may be necessary to add a spoonful or two of water from time to time to prevent the juices in the tin drying up and burning.

5. Meanwhile, prepare the stuffed vegetables. Finely chop the remaining garlic clove. Melt the butter in a small pan and saute the finely chopped onion and garlic for 3—4 minutes, until soft. Leave to cool. Finely chop the reserved cooked, dried mushrooms and place them in a bowl with the cooled onion mixture, sausage-meat, Parmesan cheese, parsley, tarragon and chives. Mix the ingredients together well and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

6. Slice off the tops of the tomatoes and scoop out the seeds, taking care not to break the shells. Lightly sprinkle the insides of the tomatoes with salt, then leave them upside down on a rack for a few minutes, to drain. Wipe the large mushrooms clean. Stuff the tomatoes and mushrooms with the sausage-meat mixture, smoothing the top surfaces neatly.

7. About 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time for the pork, place the stuffed tomatoes around the joint; 10 minutes later, place the stuffed mushrooms around the joint. Complete the cooking.

8. Transfer the roast pork to a hot serving platter, surround it with the stuffed tomatoes and mushrooms and garnish with a few sprigs of parsley. Remove any excess fat from the roasting tin by blotting with absorbent paper, then moisten the pork and stuffed vegetables with the remaining juices. Serve the joint immediately.

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