There is something especially wonderful about harvesting great product and dropping it straight into a pan. These Jersey Royal potatoes were dug up at eleven o’clock in the morning and by six o’clock at night were boiling away in water. All that was required was to dress them up a little with rosemary and garlic to give them the respect they deserve.
This is a super simple recipe for pork and potatoes that allows the spuds to shine, while the pork and pancetta adds a rich saltiness to the dish to complement the sweetness of the veg.
- Big bowl of New Potatoes - However much you need for your crowd
- A couple of sprigs of Rosemary
- Several cloves of garlic
- Teaspoon of Sea Salt - the flakes if you have them
- Good grind of black pepper
- 500 grams Pork Loin - Or fillet
- Bunch of fresh Sage - Whole leaves
- Slices of good Pancetta - As many as you end up with sticks of pork.
Don't peel the potatoes. Ideally, if they are not too big, leave them whole. Jersey Royals have a very light skin and it adds to the taste. Scrub them to get off any dirt then put them into fast-boiling water.
Once the potatoes have cooked and are tender, gently drain them off and put them into an oven dish. Give each potato a little squeeze so it just bursts through its skin. Take six or seven cloves of garlic, skin on, and crush them with the blade of a knife. Break these up roughly and scatter between the potatoes. Scatter rosemary over the spuds and then season with good sea salt and fresh ground pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Put them in a hot oven until they are just tinged with gold. Don’t cook them too much. Otherwise, you will loose that freshness you get with this type of potato.
Take the pork loin and chop it up into thin fingers about five centimetres long. Lay a couple of sage leaves on each finger then wrap up into parcels with very thinly sliced Italian Pancetta. You can use thin sliced English streaky bacon too, but it needs to be ultra thin so it is almost falling apart.
Fry these gently in olive oil and until they are slightly crispy on the outside and only just cooked on the inside. That is easier to achieve than it sounds, so be careful and don't have the pan too hot.
Serve the pork with your wonderful potatoes and a fresh green salad with olives.
Put all together, this is the perfect summer dish. Eat it in the garden, soaking up the warmth from the day, and throw in a bottle or two of good wheat beer.