For those that DON’T know, I love me some porchetta. See my BESTies list. It’s not something you have too often, but when you do it has to be good.
I first had it in a market in Rome, hand-cut by a spry woman wielding a large knife. She did not play and everyone stood in line for that gorgeous piece of meat, specifically the skin.
In NYC I travel to the East Village for Sara Jenkin’s version at Porchetta when the mood strikes me. I love that that is all you can get there either on a ciabatta roll or as a plate with one of the delicious traditional sides like potatoes roasted under the dripping pork fat, white beans and greens.
I have also tried the porchetta at Eataly’s rosticceria on a Thursday. Delicious, seasoned well and a lot in the bread. Maybe a little too much for one person if you get a whole sandwich. Buy half for your first time.
Making this treat is not an easy feat either as I witnessed at Meatopia last year when chef Michael White owner of many restaurants including Marea, which still remains on my M.E.A.T. List, demonstrated the task.
Yes, it was hot, but he and his sous chef were sweating heavily while assembling the meat for the oven. I guess anything that is that good needs a little TLC. But leave it to Sara Jenkins to bless us with a seemingly simple recipe that I must try this season because if I can it at home…LOOK OUT!!!!
Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
Makes 6 servings
20 fresh sage leaves
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fennel pollen (available at Whole Foods)
1½ teaspoons medium-coarse sea salt
1½ teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
One 3¾-to-4 pound boneless pork shoulder (skin on, not tied)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup dry white or red wine
1. Heat oven to 250°.
2. Finely chop the sage, thyme, rosemary and garlic together (you can do this by pulsing the herbs in a food processor or chopping them by hand). Place the mixture in a small bowl, add the fennel pollen, salt and pepper, and stir together well.
3. With a sharp knife, score the pork skin in a crosshatch diamond pattern, making ⅛-inch-deep cuts about 1 inch apart. With a paring knife, make about 10 incisions (about ½ inch deep) all over the pork and stuff it with about a third of the herb mixture. Tie the pork into a compact roast with kitchen twine, brush the olive oil over the skin and rub all over with the remaining herb mixture.
4. Set pork skin-side up in a roasting pan. Roast for 2 hours.
5. Pour wine over pork and baste with wine and accumulated juices. Continue roasting, basting once every half hour, until skin is well-browned and meat is spoon tender, 2½ to 3 hours more.
6. Remove the pork from the oven; let the meat rest for 15 minutes, then slice and serve.