Sunday, October 9, 2011

Porchetta (again)

I made this last night - an earlier take from last winter is here.

This time I went to Marin Sun in Oakland and got a shoulder (skin-on) from an organic heritage pig. Not cheap, but I really don't like to skimp when we're doing a feast and I'm not sure one can make a porchetta and not have it be a feast. Porchetta really refers to a whole suckling pig but for a small dinner party, this cut will more than suffice, but you do need to have the skin be part of the deal.

This is an amalgamation of several recipes and works very well. Marinate the shoulder overnight with the herbs and spices prepared as described below.


6 pound pork shoulder with skin on butterflied
1/4 cups fennel seeds toasted
2 tablespoons whole back peppercorns
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 cloves garlic
Branch of rosemary 
6-8 carrots peeled
1 cup dry red wine
Water


The shoulder butterflied and spread out.



Toast the fennel seeds by putting them in a small iron skillet over a medium heat, moving them around until they started to get aromatic and color.

Combine the seeds with the salt and pepper in the mortar and pound them into a coarse powder. Use this as a rub on the shoulder both inside and out.



Strip the leaves off of the rosemary branch and combine them with the peeled garlic cloves and a pinch of salt in the mortar, pounding it all into a paste. Rub on the inside of the shoulder.


Tie the shoulder and marinate in the frig overnight.

Preheat the oven to its highest temperature, typically 550.
In a roasting pan lay the carrots out for the pork to sit on. Add the wine with enough water to a 1 inch depth in the pan. Place the tied pork on the carrots with the skin side up.



Put the pork into the preheated oven and lower the heat to 350. A 6 pounder should take about 3 hours to heat the internal temperature to 150.

Here's the pork after an hour -


and after 2 hours -


and at the end.


Remove the pan from the ove and allow the pork to rest for about 15 minutes covered in foil.


Remove the pork from the pan to slice. By this point the fat in the liquid in the pan should have floated to the top enough so that you can remove it. Reduce the remainder of the liquid to a syrupy consistency to use as gravy.


Here's the pork plated. I also made roasted potatoes with garlic and rosemary and a side of zucchini baked with tomatoes, each of which I'll blog about soon. The potatoes are a standard for me but the zucchini dish was a new one I picked up from a Marcella Hazan book which was really really yummy.