Porchetta – Ever wanted to have a go at this delicious aromatic traditional Italian dish of Pork stuffed with herbs and slow-roasted, either in a Wood Fired Oven or in an ordinary household oven. One taste and you won’t be able to stop. Definitely something special for sharing with your friends.
A traditional Italian dish for festivities and sharing, taken from one of my favourite web-sites, Los Angeles Ovenworks, a site for those of us who are lucky enough to own a Wood-fired oven. This Porchetta is often made with a suckling pig, which is stuffed with delicious herbs and served at a feast. A lot of Italian cafes cook it slowly and serve it with crusty bread, dipping the bread first lightly in the juices then adding the melt-in-the-mouth slices of Porchetta. Stunning food! Preparation Time: 20 minutes plus chilling overnight - the next day bring to room temperature for 2 hours before cooking.
- 3 – 3 ½ lbs boneless pork shoulder butt, trimmed of excess fat
- 3 teaspoons fennel seeds
- Small handful of fresh thyme, leaves removed from stems
- 6 sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed from stems
- 1 bunch fresh sage
- 4 laurel leaves (Think they mean Bay leaves)
- 5 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 teaspoons coarse kosher or sea salt
- 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine
- Place the meat with the skin facing down. Identify the muscles running lengthwise near the middle of the roast. With a sharp knife cut between the muscles and use your fingers to develop pockets in the center of the meat (don’t cut through). You will fill these pockets with the herb and salt mixture.
- Grind the peppercorns, salt, fennel (Italians use Fennel a great deal with pork, especially grinding up and rubbing on the 'crackling' fat) and coriander seeds. Chop the herbs and mix with chopped garlic cloves. Mix the herbs, the spices, the olive oil and the wine in a small bowl. Work this mix into the pouches you cut in the roast, roll the meat and tie it together with kitchen twine. Rub the extra mix over the surface of the roast, cover with plastic and refrigerate overnight. Before cooking, leave out at room temperature for two hours.
- Fire up the wood-burning oven making sure that you let a good amount of heat accumulate within the dome and floor, to release slowly over two hours of roasting. Move the embers to the right or left side of the oven.
- When the oven is about 400 degrees F, it is time to put the Porchetta in. Choose a shallow metal baking pan, just large enough to hold the roast. Close the door once the roast is inside the oven.
- Once it is browned on one side, turn it. This may take 15 to 20 minutes or longer, depending on your oven. When both sides are browned, cover Porchetta loosely with tin foil and cook for another 1 to 1 ½ hours. When the roast is done, it should have an internal temperature of 165 degrees F.
- Remove from oven and let rest under the foil for about 20 minutes.
- Pour the fat from roasting pan into another pan, place it back in the oven to deglaze with ½ cup white wine along with any juice from the roast.
Buon appetito from Los Angeles Ovenworks.
Writing about this delicious Porchetta reminded me that I must have a look at our favourite purveyor of quality meat, game, poultry, fish and many more superb foods. Donald Russell has been supplying our house over the years, and has recently expanded the choice of goods on offer to include a lot of the cheaper cuts of meat that just need slow-cooking and lots of love. Christmas is extra special at Donald Russell, so I’ll be putting in my list very soon. To have a good look at all Donald Russell has to offer, Click Here.