Have you ever tried speck?
It’s basically my new favorite charcuterie meat.
Speck is essentially smoked prosciutto.
So you get that tender salty meat, with a nice smoky flavor on the back end. It goes great with creamy goat cheese or mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and grilled bread.
It also goes GREAT wrapped around a giant pork loin & baked until crispy.
It’s like bacon-wrapped meat, but better, because it’s thinner and less fatty so it gets nice and crisp.
And how can you take it to an even better level?
Schmear some garlic herb butter on it.
The basic process for making a killer pork loin is as follows:
- First, get a nice sear on the meat. Pat the loin dry with paper towels and season well with salt and pepper. Then pan sear it over high heat until the loin has a nice golden color on all sides (this adds tons of flavor!)
- Let it rest for a sec, then slather with flavored butter. I used a mixture of butter flavored with salt, pepper, lemon zest, garlic, and basil.
- Wrap the whole thing in tons of speck. Wrapping the loin in the speck last helps trap the butter against the meat, encouraging it to soak in and flavor each bite. It also gets nice and golden and crispy while it bakes.
- Let it rest after it’s done baking. This helps the juices redistribute and absorb into the meat, so the juices don’t go spilling everywhere when you slice it.
And that’s pretty much it!
When the loin is done, just slice it carefully into crosswise slices and make sure you get all those crispy pieces that might fall off when you cut it!
- 4 pound pork loin
- Kosher salt and ground black pepper, for seasoning
- Splash of grapeseed oil or other high-heat friendly oil
- 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
- 6 cloves garlic, pressed with a garlic press or finely minced
- 2 heaping tablepsoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- 25 or so thin slices of speck (smoked prosciutto) (enough to cover the pork loin)
Pat the pork loin dry with paper towels, then season well on all sides with kosher salt and ground black pepper.
Add two tablespoons of oil to a large heavy pan (preferably cast iron) and warm over high heat. Add the pork loin to the pan and sear a few minutes on each side, turning as needed, until the pork develops a nice golden color on all sides and ends.
Remove the pork loin from the pan and let it rest/cool while you prepare the herb butter.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Put the softened butter in a small bowl, and use a fork to mash it together with the garlic, basil, salt, pepper, and lemon zest.
When the pork has cooled enough so that you can comfortably touch it, place it on a roasting rack in a large roasting pan. Use your hands to rub the butter mixture all over the top of the pork loin.
Next, starting at one end of the pork loin and working your way to the other, lay the slices of speck across the pork, tucking any loose ends underneath the sides of the loin. Let the speck slices overlap slightly as you lay them across the pork. They will shrink when they crisp up, so you want the slices overlapping to avoid any weird gaps in the final product.
Place the pork in the oven and roast for about an hour and a half, or until the center of the loin reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit (use a ThermaPen or other instant read thermometer to check).
When the loin is done cooking, remove it from the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving. The rest will allow the roast finish cooking and to allow the juices to redistribute.
When the loin is done resting, slice it carefully into crosswise slices, taking care to serve the crispy speck pieces with each slice.