Pork with Juniper Berries (Filetto di Maiale con Bacche di Ginepro)

Braised Pork with Juniper Berries
Braised Pork with Juniper Berries
Pan-seared and shallow braised in an aromatic sauce of white wine perfumed with juniper—the key flavoring component of gin—and rosemary.Andre Baranowski

Juniper berries and fresh herbs add aromatic appeal to pan-seared pork loin with potatoes and green beans. The recipe comes from chef Maria Luisa Scolastra at the historic inn Villa Roncalli in Foligno, Italy. It's a full-flavored partner for the area's famed and intense red wine, sagrantino. This recipe first appeared in our November 2014 issue with the story Taste of Umbria.

Find this recipe in our cookbook, SAVEUR: Italian Comfort Food

Pork with Juniper Berries (Filetto di Maiale con Bacche di Ginepro)
Juniper berries and fresh herbs add aromatic appeal to pan-seared pork loin with potatoes and green beans, a dish served at Villa Roncalli in Foligno, Italy.
Yield: serves 4

For the Potatoes

  • 13 cup olive oil
  • 1 lb. russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1" pieces
  • 10 oz. green beans, trimmed
  • 1 12 tbsp. minced sage
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

For the Pork

  • 3 tbsp. lard or olive oil
  • 2 oz. guanciale or pancetta, minced
  • 1 (1-lb.) pork tenderloin
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 tbsp. juniper berries
  • 4 sprigs rosemary
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 sprigs flowering fennel, optional
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock

Instructions

  1. Make the potatoes: Heat oil in a 12" skillet over medium-high. Cook potatoes until golden, 10–12 minutes. Stir in green beans, sage, garlic, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to medium; cook, covered, until potatoes are tender, 6–8 minutes. Transfer to a bowl; keep warm.
  2. Make the pork: Wipe skillet clean and melt lard over medium-high. Cook guanciale until crisp, 2–3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer guanciale to a plate. Season pork with salt and pepper; cook, turning as needed, until browned, 8–10 minutes. Add juniper berries, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, garlic, and, if using, the fennel; cook 1–2 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring and scraping up browned bits from bottom of skillet, until evaporated, 12–15 minutes. Add stock; boil. Reduce heat to medium; cook, slightly covered, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into pork reads 145°. Let pork rest 5 minutes, then slice 12" thick; divide between plates. Simmer sauce until thickened, 10–12 minutes. Discard herbs and stir in reserved guanciale, salt and pepper; spoon over pork. Serve with potatoes and green beans.