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Tuscan Roast Leg of Pork

No recipe image available.This Italian-inspired pork roast is rich with garlic, sage and pancetta—unsmoked Italian bacon. Serve with soft polenta, buttered asparagus spears and a fruit salad.

Recipe Ingredients:

1 (6 to 7-pound) boneless half fresh leg of pork roast, netted or tied
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1/3 cup fresh sage leaves
4 ounces pancetta, diced
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper

Cooking Directions:

  1. In small skillet heat oil over medium heat; add shallots and garlic. Saute slowly, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Place sage, pancetta, salt and pepper in food processor. Blend to a paste; add shallots and garlic and blend.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C)
  4. Place pork roast in shallow roasting pan; stab 1-inch gashes all over surface of pork roast with small paring knife. Using your fingers and the paring knife, stuff each slit with some of the sage and shallot paste. Rub any remaining paste over surface of pork.
  5. Roast for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, until internal temperature, measured with a meat thermometer, is 155°F (approximately 65°C).
  6. Remove from oven and let rest at least 15 minutes before slicing thinly to serve.

Makes 12 to 15 servings.

Tip: Leg of pork, or “fresh ham,” makes a beautiful presentation for festive occasions: A special family dinner, a holiday or “company’s coming” is a good excuse to call ahead and ask the butcher to prepare this roast for you. Have the butcher bone the leg, trim the outer fat and put the roast in a netting for a tidy presentation. Leftovers of a fresh leg of pork are always welcome for sandwiches and snacking.

Recipe provided courtesy of National Pork Board.