Porchetta is utterly divine.  This version, slightly modified from Anne Burell‘s take, is tender, moist, redolent: a perfect pork.  The veggies can be easily changed according to number of guests and/or vegetable preferences, which makes this recipe fairly versatile.  The almost-better pork leftovers should be toasted/grilled with a fairly mild cheese like Gruyere or Fontina and dipped in the warmed juices.  Such a wonderful use of leftover food in the fridge that doesn’t even come close to resembling last night’s dinner…

The Veggie Bed

Garlic and Herb Filling

Bacon, Pork, and Twine

Polder Thermometers + 3-4 Short Hours...

Porchetta: Sliced, Juicy, Delicious

Leftovers: Porchetta Sandwich Au Jus

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 small bunch fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon (or so) fresh thyme, chopped
  • lots and lots of garlic cloves, thinly sliced (20+ is the minimum for me)
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pork shoulder, bone removed
  • 1 lb slab bacon
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Vegetables:

  • 3 yellow onions, diced
  • 10-15 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1 pound fingerling potatoes, cut lengthwise
  • 2 pints Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 2 celery roots, diced
  • 3 large carrots, sliced
  • 1 lb baby yellow carrots (cut lengthwise, if desired)
  • 2 parsnips, diced
  • 2 ribs celery, diced
  • 1 bottle decent dry white wine
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 bundle fresh thyme
  • 10 bay leaves
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 quarts chicken stock (maybe 1 qt, maybe 3)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450°F.
  2. To prepare the meat: Combine the rosemary, sage, garlic, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Mix with enough olive oil until a loose paste has formed.
  3. Butterfly the pork so it opens like a book (or ask the butcher to do so, like I did).
  4. Rub the oil and herb mixture all over the inside of the meat.
  5. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.  Roll the meat, jellyroll-style.
  6. Delicately lay the strips of bacon atop meat.
  7. Tightly tie the pork bundle with butcher’s twine.  Set aside.
  8. To prepare the vegetables: In a large roasting pan, combine all the vegetables and wine.
  9. Season with salt, to taste, and add the thyme and bay leaves. Tie the thyme and bay leaves in twine for easy removal when the meat and veggies are cooked.
  10. To cook the dish: Nestle the pork on the vegetables. Rub the top of the pork with oil and put in the oven. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes until the bacon starts to brown and becomes crispy.
  11. Brush the pork with the pan juices and chicken stock. Roast for another 2 1/2 to 3 hours, basting the meat occasionally and adding more chicken stock to keep pan moist. If the pork becomes too dark, tent with foil (but remove the foil during the last 30 minutes of cooking time, if possible).
  12. Cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees.
  13. Remove the pork from the pan and place on a cutting board.  Let rest for at least 15 minutes, then discard the twine.
  14. Slice the meat and serve atop vegetables from the pan, drenched in juices.

Yields about 10 servings

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