Roast Pork & Arancine, BBC Saturday Kitchen

Roast Pork Fillet with Orange, Date & Pomegranate Salsa, Rainbow Chard and Mini Arancine (little Rice Balls)

New Years Eve celebration in Sicily features the arrival of the oranges.  And orange is usually paired with pork as the main.  Here, I have a twist on this by adding a typical street food, Arancine, to the main. Totally un-Sicilian but delicious. This recipe will make more arancine than you need because they are delicious warmed up for lunch the following day!

Serves 4

For the pork

1 large (750g) pork fillet (tenderloin)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red chilli, finely chopped

½ orange, zest

1 tsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

extra virgin olive oil

salt & freshly ground pepper


For the salsa

75g dates, stoned and chopped

½ pomegranate, seeds only

4 tbsp orange juice

2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

salt & freshly ground pepper


For the chard

125g rainbow or Swiss chard

2 cloves garlic, chopped

salt & freshly ground pepper


For the arancine

Pinch of saffron

150g Arborio (or other risotto) rice

1 tsp salt

½ buffalo mozzarella, torn into small dices

1 egg yolk

2 egg whites

30g grated parmesan (or pecorino) cheese

salt & freshly ground pepper

50g flour for dredging

125g bread crumbs

Sunflower oil for deep-frying


Preheat the oven to 180C / Gas Mark 4.

For the pork: Mix the garlic, orange zest, parsley, salt, pepper and chilli and rub over the pork.

Heat a roasting pan with a little oil and sear the pork. Transfer to a roasting pan together with the pan juices. Roast for 35 – 40 minutes depending how well done you prefer your pork.


For the salsa:  

Mix all ingredients and set aside.


For the chard

Heat a little olive oil, add in the garlic, followed by the chard, salt and pepper.  When just wilted, remove from the heat and set aside


For the arancine:

Dissolve the saffron in 50ml warm water.  Place the rice in a saucepan with the saffron water and add 350ml of water.  Add the salt and bring the water to the boil.  Cover, lower the heat and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice tender.  This will take about 15 minutes.

Let the rice cool to room temperature.

Add the egg yolks, grated cheese and seasoning to taste to the cooked rice and mix well.

Beat the egg whites briefly with a fork.

Brush a little egg white on the palm of your hand, press 1 tablespoon of rice into it, and mould it into a hollow, cuplike shell.  Fill the hollow with 1 small piece of the mozzarella. 

Cover the filling with 1 tablespoon of rice and use both hands to seal the filling inside and shape stuffed rice into a ball about the size of a small mandarin orange. 

Roll each arancina (ball) first in flour, then in the remaining egg white and finally in the bread crumbs.

Pour oil into a small saucepan to a depth of about 5 – 7cm.  When it is very hot, deep-fry the rice balls three or four at a time, turn occasionally, until golden brown on all sides.

Strain them on paper towel.


To serve:

Remove the pork from the pan and place on a warm platter.

Place the chard on the serving plate, an arancine on top, followed by some sliced pork and scatter over the salsa. 


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