Porchetta


This year for the 4th, I decided to slow roast a nice big piece of meat…#Duhhhh. I love Porchetta! It is an Italian delicacy. The formal definition of Porchetta is “a whole suckling pig that has been boned, the cavity stuffed with herbs, sewn up and slow roasted”. There are variations on this theme of course. Bones left on the pork, bones removed. Parts or all of a pig stuffed, tied and roasted. This way you can prepare as big a roast as you need and desire. I’ve taken a whole 9 lb. pork belly and wrapped and tied it around a pork loin and roasted that. Ummmm, I didn’t want to roast a whole pig, so I ordered a nice bone in, skin on, milk fed pork shoulder from D’Artagnan online. It weighed about 7.5 lbs. A beautiful piece of meat.

DSC02618.JPGThe recipe called for seasoning with just salt and pepper but I couldn’t resist spicing it up just a bit. I rubbed the underside of the roast with olive oil, mostly so the spices would stick. I then added salt, pepper, chopped fresh garlic, and  basil leaves.

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I rested the roast in the fridge skin side up overnight. The key to a nice crispy skin is letting it dry out. You could leave it for 2 days if you want but I didn’t have time and couldn’t wait. I didn’t put any oil or spices on the skin. For one, they won’t be absorbed and will only char, and burn when you crisp up the skin at the end. I also didn’t score the skin as I don’t like the look of a scored skin roast.

I put chopped onions, celery, carrots and garlic in the bottom of a roasting pan and filled it up with half white wine and half water and put the roast on a rack on top and popped it in the oven. I roasted the Porchetta in the oven for 8 1/2 hours at 250 degrees. I didn’t tent it, baste it, or even turn it. After testing the roast by inserting a bamboo skewer, perfection!

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I took the roast out of the oven and removed and strained the drippings for the gravy and turned up the oven to broil. This is a touchy step. You cannot walk away at this time as you will burn your beautiful creation. Keeping the oven door half open I slowly rotated the Porchetta by gloved hand making sure all sides of it got equal heat. The skin slowly undulated and puffed and popped…and well Damn look at it!

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The amazing thing about this roast is how flavorful it is. It tastes like I injected it with the spices. I rested it while I made the gravy. I served it sautéed snow peas, mashed potatoes and gravy. Soooooooo, so, so, so GOOD! BEHOLD!

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