Tuscan-Style Roast Pork with Garlic and Rosemary (Arista)
Why This Recipe Works
The Tuscan roast pork dish known as arista promises to turn lean, mild pork loin into a juicy roast flavored with plenty of garlic and rosemary and featuring a deeply browned crust. Yet most versions turn out dry and bland. To boost both flavor and juiciness, we salted the meat for 1 hour before cooking, using a double-butterfly technique to expose plenty of surface area and then salting both sides and rolling it back up. This technique also allowed us to maximize the distribution of the garlic and rosemary. Briefly simmering the herb-garlic mixture before spreading it over the pork tempered any raw flavors, and using plenty of oil (which we then strained off) and a nonstick skillet kept the garlic from browning, for a fresher garlic flavor. To boost richness and enhance the overall porky flavor, we processed pancetta with the garlic and rosemary (plus red pepper flakes and lemon zest for brightness) to make a paste. Using a low oven ensured that the meat was evenly cooked from edge to center. And to keep the crust crispy, instead of roasting, browning, and then resting the roast under foil, we let it rest after it came out of the oven and then browned it and served it immediately. For a finishing touch, we made a simple, bright, rich sauce by combining the reserved strained oil with the juice from a halved lemon that we quickly caramelized in the skillet for more complex flavor.