Walking through the centre of Rome, rummaging through the wine shops, I found a bottle I knew well, but which had ended up in the forgotten bin.
I had enjoyed it a long time ago, an ancient wine that was born in the Karst, that difficult land lashed by the bora in winter and the hot sun in summer. Some say it is of Slovenian origin but here every wine from rocky ground speaks Italian.
Vitovska is an indigenous wine that finds no other similar in the whole Mediterranean and can be enjoyed with raw fish or delicate dishes. It is a DOC wine produced in the hard limestone ground in the provinces of Gorizia and Trieste, it is a very special white wine.
As usual, I have distorted the taste sensations: I have taken a wine from the north and accompany it with foods from my house in the central south.
This time I approached the recipe the other way around: I chose the wine and then I imagined a dish to combine with it. As I had for the hands I imagined a pork fillet wrapped with lean lard (salumi), yet not Colonnata salumi because it is too aromatic, and apples.
For this recipe I need a local lard perhaps one with a slight pink vein is perfect. I will be advised by my friendly Norcino butcher who works only really products of Norcia, by now we are accomplices and he understands me instinctively.
Preparation of the recipe for pork and apples
Take a piece of pork fillet, but choose a very lean one. Cut it into discs of about 3 cm in height and wrap each disc with a slice of lard that and tie with kitchen string.
Put everything in a pan with a sage leaf. Someone whiten their teeth with it but I like it with meat. Brown it on both sides then add the apples cut into wedges.
I chose the Anurka apples that were once considered low grade, but which are now back in vogue. The Romans also ate them, Pliny the Elder describes them in his “Naturalis Historia” and they are found on a painting in a house in Pompeii.
For this reason, Campania has declared them a ‘National Product’, but I have found them all over southern Lazio. Part of these territories were part of the Bourbon Kingdom.
Today they are even more famous for their properties and are found in pharmacy products as a remedy against baldness and vitamin deficiency and high cholesterol. Someone has said they are aphrodisiac. I do not know. But for the recipe, chose real apples and not the pills!
In this period I found apples awaiting me in my trusty market, the Via Trionfale Market: if you are careful, the market rewards you with great quality while saving your wallet.
But let’s go back to the recipe: cook for a few minutes, you do not need any spice, blend with plenty of wine, the Vitovska.
It is an inexpensive and delicate dish, given the raw materials, except for the wine. For this wine you have to spend a few euros more, but not many. It will give you great satisfaction.