Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

October 27, 2021

© Eric Wolfinger

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Lemongrass pork

This cheater’s version of porchetta makes a great filling for bánh mì, a baguette sandwich filled and topped with almost anything — from pickeled carrots and cucumber to slices of jalapeño chile, and lots of fresh cilantro. It’s sold almost everywhere in Vietnam. The pork is also good on its own with rice and a vegetable side dish.

3/4 c. (180 ml) finely chopped lemongrass
1/4 c. (60 ml) chopped garlic
3 tbsp. (45 ml) salt
11/2 tbsp. (22.5 ml) coriander seeds, toasted in a dry pan until fragrant, cooled, and ground
11/2 tbsp. (22.5 ml) freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c. (60 ml) canola oil
4 lb. (2 kg) boneless pork loin

In a bowl, combine the lemongrass, garlic, salt, coriander and pepper, and stir to mix. Add the oil and stir until a thick paste forms. Set aside.

Place the pork loin on a cutting board. Beginning at one end of the loin, make a horizontal cut about 1-inch (2.5-cm) deep. Continue cutting the length of the loin then return to the start and deepen the cut, pulling back the meat as you go, until the loin opens like a magazine. Do not cut all the way through.

Spread three-quarters of the spice mixture on the top of the pork and then roll the pork into a tight cylinder, securing it at 3-inch (7.5-cm) intervals with butcher’s twine. Rub the remaining mixture on the outside of the meat. Place the meat on a rimmed baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.

When ready to cook the meat, remove it from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 325°F (170°C).

Roast the pork for about 11/4 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the shoulder registers 140°F (60°C). Transfer to a platter and tent with aluminum foil.

If serving hot as a main course, let rest for about 30 minutes then slice and serve. If planning to use for sandwiches, let cool completely before slicing. Serves 6 as a main or makes enough meat for 8 to 10 sandwiches.

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