For the longest time, I considered porchetta, the slow-roasted Italian pork dish, an order-at-a-restaurant-only entrée; it seemed too hard to make at home. For a recent holiday dinner party, however, I wanted to serve roast pork, so I threw caution to the wind and wound up making a delicious variation of the flavorful dish.
Porchetta takes a couple of hours to roast, but it's guaranteed to fill the house with a wonderful porky rosemary fragrance. To ensure that you get the correct cut, ask your butcher if he carries it a week before you plan on cooking the pork. With its succulent and well-seasoned meat, the resulting pork is a real crowd-pleaser. Read ahead for the highly-recommended porchetta recipe.
For pork: For rub: For roasting: Serves 8-10.
4 pounds boneless pork shoulder
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 bulb fennel, fronds chopped and reserved, bulb thinly sliced
2 pounds ground pork shoulder (you can use already-made sausages if need be)
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
20 fresh sage leaves
3 fresh thyme sprigs, stems removed
3 sprigs rosemary, stems removed
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon fennel seeds, slightly toasted
1 1/2 teaspoons medium-coarse sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
4 red onions, halved
1 cup white wine or chicken broth