Monday, May 5, 2008

Porchetta Romana

I am always amazed when I go to the grocery store and see these gigantic pork shoulder roasts on sale for .95 cents a pound. Doesn't anybody know how mind alteringly good these can be if prepared properly? I am almost afraid to give up this recipe as it may cause a run on pork shoulder and cause a price spike at my local grocery store. I guess that would be okay since I don't know how a farmer can raise a pig for what these roasts are selling for.
While this roast maybe doesn't reach the culinary heights of say crisp bacon or prosciutto, this is by far the best quality to price ratio piece of meat on the pig.
Anyway, this is an adaptation I made from a Mario Batali recipe. He cooks his roast overnight and the resulting meat to me is too done. This preparation leave the meat still firm enough to slice and it is unctuous, succulent and very fragrant. Heads up though, to do this properly you need to start a day ahead to allow the pork shoulder to absorb the garlic and herb mixture you rub it down with.

Porchetta Romana
5-8 lb. Pork Shoulder Roast
1 head of Garlic
1-2 Tbsp. Fennel Seed
1-2 Tbsp. Fresh Rosemary
Olive Oil

Peel and sliver the entire head of garlic then take a paring knife and make punctures into the roast so you can insert the garlic. Next slather with olive oil and dust with the fennel, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cover the roast and let sit for 24 hours.
Pre-heat your over to 250 degrees and place the roast into the oven. You will now be looking at about a 5-6 hour roasting time to get the roast up to the desired 160 degrees.
When the roast reaches 160 degrees (oven temperature) go ahead and pull the roast and tent with foil. Let the roast rest for at least 20 minutes. I actually like to start this roast earlier in the day and pull it at 150 degrees, let rest and then when dinner is about an hour out I will crank the oven up to 350 degrees and cook until I get to 160 degrees. This browns and crisps the outside nicely.

The roast as you can see has just a hint of pink and this is a fantastic dish for a large gathering. It is also amazing for sandwiches -hot or cold.

Buon Appetito


Heather said...

Hey, I just picked up a shoulder for $0.99/lb. yesterday! We must've been on the same wavelength. I'm probably gonna slow-roast mine and pull it.

Norm Schoen said...

I grew up working on a farm and I don't know how they can sell meat at this price and stay in business.
Mario Batali says that this is a cut of meat you will never find in Chinatown (because it is in demand), so head to suburbia where it is abundant.
I love this recipe and the other recipe on this site that uses the cocoa powder rub is really nice too.

toontz said...

Growing up, I had a first cousin that owned a meat locker. Once a year, the extended family would get together in the summer and roast a pig. The grown-ups would gather and drink, the kids ran around and had fun until the pork was done. It is still my favorite food of all time. I haven’t had it in years, but I still remember how tasty that pork was.

Norm Schoen said...

What an awesome memory. I wish I had a backyard to dig a pig roasting pit in.

We Are Never Full said...

Hi! I found my way to your from our girl heather! gotta say, thanks for posting the pictures of her and her huzb! it's great to see how people look. anyways, just commenting to say kudos on this recipe. pork shoulder is one of my favorites b/c it's cheap and plentiful! we have a few recipes w/ this great, cheap cut on our blog. give pernil a try one day - it's puerto rican style roast... low and slow is the only way to go.