Mario Batali's Arista Toscana with Blood Orange Salad
- 24 Garlic Cloves
- 4 large Spanish Onions
- 2 Fennel Bulbs (frilly tops chopped and reserved; ribs discarded; bulbs cut into 1/4-inch slices)
- 6-7 pounds Bone-in Pork Loin Roast (ask for 10 bones "frenched")
- Salt and freshly ground Pepper
- 1/4 cup Fennel Pollen
- 1 quart Whole Milk
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
For the Blood Orange Salad:
- 2 Blood Oranges (in supremes; zest and juice reserved)
- Olive Oil
- 1 bulb Fennel (shaved; rib discarded; frilly tops chopped and reserved)
- Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F. Smash 12 garlic cloves into a paste and place it in a roasting pan that is large enough to hold the pork loin. Line the bottom of the pan with the sliced onions, laying them over the garlic paste, then add the sliced fennel.
- Make six 3-inch-deep incisions along the bones, and stuff 2 garlic cloves into each incision.
- Season the pork aggressively all over with salt and pepper, and then sprinkle it with the fennel pollen. Add the milk and some olive oil to pan. Place the pork roast on top of the vegetables in the roasting pan. Place the pan in the oven and roast for 65 to 75 minutes, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 145F at its thickest part (do not allow the thermometer to touch the bone). Remove the pan from the oven and place the pork roast on a carving board.
- Transfer half of the cooked onions and fennel, and all of the drippings and liquid, to a blender and blend for about 30 seconds. With the motor running, drizzle in the olive oil and blend until the sauce is smooth and thick. If it seems a bit thick, simply add warm water, about 1/4 cup at a time, until it is thin enough to pour. Season the sauce to taste with salt and pepper.
- Arrange the remaining onions and fennel in a pile on a warmed platter. Carve the pork roast off the bone. Slice the meat into 3/4-inch-thick slices and arrange them over the onions. Pour a few tablespoons of the sauce over the meat, and serve immediately with the Blood Orange Salad. Pass the rest of the sauce in a gravy boat.
- For the Blood Orange Salad: In a large bowl, whisk together the orange juice, zest, and olive oil. Add the orange supremes, shaved fennel, and all of the reserved frilly tops from the arista toscana as well as the salad. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.