Porchetta

Inspired by a famous Roman butcher, this slow-cooked dish of pork surrounded by crispy skin makes a memorable dinner with ample leftovers.
Photo by Con Poulos / Styling by Mariana Velasquez

In Tasting Rome (Clarkson Potter, 2016), a new cookbook by Katie Parla and Kristina Gill, the ancient city’s complex history is told through dishes both classic and unexpected. Recipes range from pizzas and pastas to offal (called quinto quarto, or “fifth quarter,” in Rome) and food from the diverse Jewish populations. This take on butcher Vito Bernabei’s porchetta—a perennial Roman favorite—replaces the traditional pork belly and loin with pork shoulder, which is easier to find and work with. Don’t be daunted by the size: Leftovers make fantastic sandwiches.

Ingredients
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 deboned pork shoulder, skin on (about 6–7 pounds)
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons fennel pollen or ground fennel seeds
Directions

Mash the garlic cloves into paste. Set aside. Score the pork skin in a diamond pattern (or have a butcher do it for you). Flip the pork, skin-side down. Massage remaining ingredients into meat.

Roll the pork tightly, with the skin facing out. Using kitchen twine, tie roll securely. Refrigerate uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight, to dry the skin.

Remove from refrigerator roughly 2 hours before cooking. Preheat oven to 195˚F.

Bake porchetta until fork-tender (and an internal temperaure of at least 145˚F), about 5–6 hours. Increase oven temperature to 500˚F. Cook 15–20 minutes to crisp skin.Remove from oven. Let rest for at least 45 minutes. Slice and serve. Serves 10.

Pair It

Brancott 2012 T Letter Series Pinot Noir (Marlborough); $35, 91 points. Pork and Pinot is a can’t-miss combination. This is a fine representation of Marlborough Pinot Noir, sensational with food. Supple, with medium-full body, it offers great concentration of tart berries and spice.

Published on August 4, 2016
About the Author
Nils Bernstein
Contributing Editor, Food

A fan of sweet wines, sour beers, and old-school Rioja, Bernstein is an exhaustive traveler in search of new and unsung chefs and restaurants, innovative wine and food pairings, and eating and drinking at the source. In addition to Wine Enthusiast, Bernstein has written for Bon Appetit, Men’s Journal, New York Times, Men’s Fitness, Hemispheres, and Kinfolk, among others.

Email: nbernstein@wineenthusiast.net



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