Recipe from Nino Zoccali's cookbook The Venetian Republic
I’m sorry to say that not many people cook for me these days. Many other chefs will tell you they have the same problem. Thankfully my mother-in-law, Maria, is an exception, and a wonderful one at that. This is probably my favourite dish of hers, although she has many greats. I particularly love the slow-braised artichokes and broad beans – a simple, but fantastic combination – and if it wasn’t for Maria, I wouldn’t know the joy of cooking and eating broad beans whole. To cook them this way, choose small, early-harvest broad beans as they will be the most tender.
Roasted Pork Loin with Slow-Braised Artichokes and Baby Broad Beans
PREP TIME 20 minutes, plus overnight refrigeration of pork
COOKING TIME 1 hour 30 minutes
3 kg (6 lb, 12 oz) rolled pork loin (ask a butcher to roll and tie a pork loin with the belly attached in 3–4 cm (1¼-1½ inch) intervals and score the skin in between the ties)
3 tablespoons sea salt
100 ml (scant ½ cup) extra virgin olive oil
Slow-braised artichokes and baby broad beans
1 lemon, cut in half
3 globe artichokes
500 g (1 lb, 2 oz) baby broad beans
350 ml (scant 1½ cups) extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 onions, roughly chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
3 ripe tomatoes, cored and roughly chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 250°C (500°F).
For the roasted pork loin, bring 5 litres (170 fl oz) water to the boil. Place the pork onto a cooling rack over a sink and carefully pour the boiling water over the pork skin, turning to ensure it is all rendered. Rub the sea salt into the skin and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.
Remove from the refrigerator and bring the pork to room temperature. Add the olive oil to a roasting tin and heat in the oven for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and place the pork in the tin, turning as the skin blisters all over. Reduce the oven temperature to 200 °C (400°F) and roast the pork for 90 minutes, turning every 10–15 minutes. Let the pork rest for 30–40 minutes before carving.
Meanwhile, for the braised artichokes and broad beans, squeeze half the lemon into a bowl of cold water. Remove the outer leaves of the artichokes then, using a spoon, scoop out the centre choke and peel the stem with a vegetable peeler. Rub the artichokes all over the lemon half as you do this to prevent them from discolouring. Cut the artichokes into quarters and store in the cold lemon water.
Top and tail the young broad beans (do not shell or peel). Leave whole if they are small, but cut in half, on an angle, if they are large. You want them to be no longer than a large green bean.
Place the extra virgin olive oil and the onion in a large saucepan over low heat and cook until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato.
Drain the artichokes and add to the pan. Add the broad beans and season with salt and pepper. Add enough water to almost cover the ingredients - don't add too much water, or you'll dilute the flavour of the dish and its liquid.
Bring to a simmer and gently cook the artichokes and beans for 25 minutes or until completely tender, stirring gently throughout.
Slice the pork into 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick slices. Serve with the braised artichokes and broad beans and season with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper.