Last September, my family took an incredible trip to one of my favorite countries, Italy. The people, the culture, the history, the wine, and of course the food. One of our stops was Cortona, in the heart of Tuscany. Cortona is often recognized as it is where the movie Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed (check out the cookbook with the same name!). We stayed at an absolutely beautiful Relais & Chateaux hotel, Il Falconiere. Among the many incredible features at this hotel, including a Michelin Star Restaurant, it has a top notch cooking class program. My Mom and I took a private cooking class that will always be a life highlight. The Tuscan kitchen was everything you can imagine…. The beautiful chopping blocks, exposed brick, painted ceramic tiles, windows looking out over the vineyard, and the smells. The fresh herbs, the cheese, garlic… it was heaven. As our chef handed us our aprons and a glass of wine, he gave us an overview of what we would be making for our gourmet lunch. We made pasta from scratch, snacked on house-made cheese and cured meats, sipped a little more wine, and had the time of our lives. Below is the recipe for the main course we prepared, which was a veal filet stuffed with an olive/pancetta pate that we made and then wrapped in pork fat. Oh My. It was so good. Ok yeah, I’m ready to go back! Who’s going with me? In the meantime, try creating this delectable meal in your home. You won’t be disappointed.
- 3 lbs Pork Tenderloin or Veal Filets
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 1/2 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 11oz Prosciutto or Pork fat cut in very thin slices
- 1 Cup White Wine
- 7oz Pancetta, finely chopped
- 3.5 oz Black Olive Pate
- 20 Bay leave Skewers
- 3.5 oz White Bread
- 1 Table Spoon wild Fennel
- 3 Oranges
- 10 Sage Leaves
- Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the pork tenderloin or veal into three inch thick medallions. Using a small sharp knife, make an incision in the meat. Grate the orange zests and squeeze the orange juice. Combine the garlic, sage, black olives, orange zest, bread and pancetta to make a coarse mixture seasoning with salt and pepper. Using a bag-a-poche, squeeze the mixture inside the pork/veal fillets. When the aromatic mixtures has been stuffed in, cut the pork/veal in 3/4 medallions. Wrap them in the prosciutto/pork fat, fixing with a bay leaf skewer. Season with salt, pepper and wild fennel.
In a pan with parchment paper, heat the extra virgin olive oil and one clove garlic over medium heat. Add the pork/veal skewers and turn them until they are thoroughly brown on all sides.
Add the wine and the orange juice to the pan, and then bake for about 15 minutes.