cucina bene; mangia bene (porchetta is better than roasted turkey)
I wrote a post about porchetta back on September 5; how porchetta is very popular all over Italy and how it’s starting to catch on here in America. This past Saturday, Bruce & I drove out to Carlton to pick up a 7 lb. bone-in pork shoulder roast (Boston Butt). We bought the roast from Carlton Farms which can provide any cut you are looking for with an advance order. Carlton Farms has been around for over 50 years and produces good quality pork. We requested the special cut, because in order to make porchetta you need the skin. So my pork roast had the skin and the layer of fat still attached which is very important for the roasting process to be successful.
On Sunday I removed the small bone and butterflied the roast. I used the recipe from the restaurant called Porchetta in NYC. There was an article (and a recipe) about that place in one of my cooking magazines. Normally, porchetta is made with a whole pig, but Porchetta uses Boston Butt roasts to simulate the experience. I made a stuffing of fresh rosemary, garlic, fennel fronds, salt, pepper, and fresh thyme. I rubbed the mixture all over the inside of the roast, cut slits in the skin and inserted fresh garlic cloves, brushed the skin with olive oil, seasoned it with salt and pepper, and then tied it with butcher’s twine. I put the roast in a foil baking pan and put it on the Ducane BBQ (at low heat) for about 5 hours.
Here’s what it looked like when it was done:
And what it looked like on the plate:
I served the porchetta with pureed white beans and sautéed greens. The one mistake I made was I tried to crisp the skin a bit more, after I took it off the BBQ, in the broiler. It made the skin way too tough making it virtually impossible to eat, but the pork itself was delicious. Bruce said that it was better than roasted turkey which was a serious testimonial since he is a certified turkeyholic! Anyway, it was fun to make and I look forward to doing it again. We also bought a 9 lb pork belly. Why, do you ask? I am making my own pancetta. After eating delicious pancetta in Italy, I can’t stand the nonsense that is sold here. I’ve decided to try making my own. Today, I cut the belly in half and put one piece in the freezer for later and the other I mixed with a salt cure and put in the fridge. It needs to sit in the fridge for 7 days. I then have to roll it, tie it, and hang it for 2 weeks in a cool dark place…..which will be in the bathroom shower upstairs…… 🙂 I’ll be sure to write a post about the pancetta as time goes on. Hopefully it will turn out. Keep postive thoughts!