When I was growing up in Italy, porchetta was just as popular there as barbecue or burgers are in the States. In Spoleto, where my brother now has a house, there are these white porchetta trucks that park outside, and they just sit there and serve you porchetta by the kilo, or sliced to order, or in sandwiches. The pork is always perfectly cooked—tender and so flavorful. It’s so easy for a home cook to make it. Most of the cooking is hands-off. All you need is a few hours, some herbs and seasonings, a warm oven, and a hearty appetite.–Marc Murphy
LC Reason #4683 Why We Love Italy Note
There’s no shortage of reasons why someone would sono innamorato with Italy. We think we’re up to reason #4682 or so, actually. And yet the list grows longer and longer. Those amongst you who are keeping count, you’re going to want to include this porchetta recipe to the list seeing as it’s being described as “a beautifully seasoned, boldly spiced, highly aromatic, succulent, handsome chunk of pig.” Folks are also calling it “an exceptionally flavorful, moist, and tender pork roast,” and are saying “YES, I am making it as my second meat for Thanksgiving.” We’ll just consider it reason #4683.
- Quick Glance
- 25 M
- 1 D, 3 H
- Serves 8 to 12
- 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 8 garlic cloves, mashed into a paste
- 5 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary leaves
- 5 tablespoons finely chopped thyme leaves
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- One (6- to 7-pound) boneless pork shoulder
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 cups homemade chicken stock or canned chicken broth
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 1. In a small pan or skillet, toast the fennel seeds over medium-low heat until lightly toasted and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Immediately transfer the seeds to a mortar and pestle and pound until finely ground.
- 2. In a small bowl, combine the garlic, rosemary, thyme, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes, and freshly ground fennel seeds until really well combined. This is your cure.
- 3. Pat the pork shoulder completely dry with paper towels. Rub the pork shoulder on all sides with the cure, making sure you season both the inside and outside of the meat. Using kitchen twine, truss the pork shoulder. (This means gently roll the pork and tie it crosswise with pieces of butcher’s string at 1/2-inch (1-centimeter) intervals. Try to keep as much of the garlic and herb rub inside the pork as possible, although if a little filling spills out, it’s not the end of the world.)
- 4. Place the trussed pork shoulder on a large plate or in a baking dish and refrigerate, uncovered, for about 24 hours.
- 5. Preheat the oven to 450°F (232°C) and position the rack in the middle of the oven.
- 6. Place the pork in a large roasting pan. Rub the pork all over with the olive oil and add the chicken stock and wine to the pan. Roast the pork, uncovered, until the skin starts to crisp, 25 to 40 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (149°C) and continue to roast until the pork is fork-tender, about 3 hours more.
- 7. Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let it rest for about 30 minutes before carving.
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Porchetta Recipe © 2015 Marc Murphy. Photo © 2015 Cedric Angeles. All rights reserved.
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