Slow-Smoked Pork Loin with Bitter Greens
Think of this as an American take on classic steak carpaccio. But the meat is pork and it’s cooked with smoke. You thinly slice the smoked pork loin, lay it on a plate, and then top it with greens dressed with a simple anchovy vinaigrette. The smoked pork tastes almost like Canadian bacon but without the curing. To get a jump on things, you can smoke the loin up to a week ahead of time and keep it in the fridge. For that matter, you can make the vinaigrette ahead too. Keep those elements in the fridge, and this dish is the perfect last-minute lunch or light supper.
12 ounces Slow-Smoked Pork Loin (recipe follows)
1/4 cup white anchovies, drained of all oil (see Worth Knowing)
3 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
3 cloves garlic, about 2 tablespoons
1 shallot, coarsely chopped, about 2 tablespoons
1/4 teaspoon finely ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cups mixed bitter greens (arugula, frisee, endive, mustard greens, kale)
Large-flake sea salt, such as Maldon, for garnish
1 (2-ounce) block pecorino cheese, for shaving
Bring the pork to room temperature and thinly slice 6 to 8 slices per serving, 24 to 32 slices total.
In a blender, combine the anchovies, vinegar, garlic, shallot, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, the pepper, and 1 tablespoon warm water and pulse to a coarse paste. With the blender running on medium speed, slowly drizzle in the oil.
Toss just enough dressing with the greens to lightly coat. Arrange the pork on plates, top with the salad, and garnish with coarse sea salt. Use a vegetable peeler to shave a few pecorino curls over each serving.
Slow-Smoked Pork Loin
Makes 2 to 3 pounds
1 (2- to 3-pound) sirloin end boneless pork loin
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat a smoker to 200°F.
Season all sides of the meat with the salt and pepper. Using apple wood, smoke the meat for 2 hours.
Allow to cool to room temperature in the smoker if using an electric smoker. If using a wood smoker, remove the pork from the smoker and cool to room temperature. Use immediately, or cover and refrigerate for a week or so.
White anchovies come packed in a vinegar and oil marinade. They have a much milder flavor than the more common salted anchovies in cans, and the two are not interchangeable. Look for white anchovies in gourmet markets.
For the pork, you want a loin that’s 3 to 4 inches in diameter, from the sirloin end. A thinner piece will cook too quickly.
Think of the leftover pork like lunch meat. Slice it or chop it and use it in place of ham for sandwiches, on an English muffin, or scrambled with eggs. You can use it anywhere you would use ham or Canadian bacon.