I first came across this when working at the River Café and it made an impression. Much later I found this Spanish version, in principle the same, just substituting sage with rosemary and the addition of walnuts. The walnuts get a little soft, but add another dimension, in texture and taste. Pot roasting is an ideal way to cook a lean cut like pork loin that keeps it moist but remember never overcook pork loin; it really does get dry. Maybe invest in a probe thermometer if nervous.
The juice from the milk separates with the addition of some lemon juice at the end and you get wonderful nuggets of curd and the whey absorbs the flavours of rosemary, lightly burnt garlic and lemon. With some greens and mash or roasted Jerusalem artichokes a blinder.
Buy the best quality pork you can afford. The skin is not needed, so remove, but leave plenty of the fat under the skin. Of course, you can get your butcher to do this. While on the subject, if you cut the skin into 1-2 mm strips, boil in salty water for 10 minutes, drain and sprinkle with plenty of crushed fennel seeds and salt. Half an hour in an oven at 220 degrees C and you have perfect pork scratchings. Yum, a cold glass of fino or a beer and everyone is happy waiting for the main event.
For 4 you will need:
600 – 800 grams pork loin
One head of garlic peeled and halved lengthways
A sprig of rosemary, maybe 5 inches long
50 g walnuts
200 ml milk
Cut strips off the peel of the lemon. Season the pork with plenty of salt and pepper. Heat a heavy bottomed pan, Le Creuset type if available. It must fit the pork loin snuggly with a lid on. Add some olive oil and slowly brown the garlic. You may find it easier to lean the pan at an angle, so the garlic is submerged in the oil. Remove and put the fat side of the loin in. Cook over a medium heat until the fat is rendered a bit and golden brown, then brown every side of the pork. Remove the pork and then put in the rosemary, garlic, walnuts and lemon peel, add the milk and bring to the boil. Put the pork loin back in, fat side up. Run enough water over some baking paper and cover the meat. Put on the lid and cook slowly for about 20 – 30 minutes until just cooked. Remove and allow to rest for 5 minutes, while reducing the sauce a little. Squeeze half lemon into the sauce and increase heat. The sauce should now split and create the fabled nuggets.
Slice and serve. Making sure to get some walnuts and garlic on each piece with the sauce.