Porchetta-Style Roast Pork

February 2, 2015 § Leave a comment

There is nothing finer, or easier, than a perfectly cooked pork shoulder. Shoulder is an excellent canvas for all sorts of flavors, but if you just rub salt and pepper on that baby and stick it in a low oven for a few hours, it will still taste like heaven. Shoulder is a cheap cut of meat, so get the best quality pork you can find. You will be rewarded with superior flavor and moistness (it’s the fat).

pork spices pork with crust

I have a slew of favorite pork shoulder recipes, from all over the world, and all of them are ridiculously easy to execute. If you’re in the mood for Mexican, conchinita pibil is perfect – shredded pork swimming in a rich sauce spiked with achiote and citrus. For a beautiful and celebratory take on a Korean dinner, Bo Ssam is where it’s at. Sam Sifton wrote an article called The Bo Ssam Miracle, that captures the wonder of this dish – tender pork encased in a crust of sugar. Oh, man. When the weather turns and fog rolls in, I look for comfort. This dish, Porchetta-Style Pork Roast is comforting and classic, but is also perfectly suited for a dinner party. You rub the pork with a mixture of  garlic, fennel, salt, and pepper, then leave it overnight to take on those flavors.  The next day, blast the roast in the oven to get a lovely crust going, then continue cooking it for a few hours at a low temperature. The result is a pork roast that is moist and tender with a super flavorful, crunchy skin. Thickly slice it and serve it warm with a pan sauce and love it again the next day in a sandwich.

cooked pork

Porchetta-Style Roast Pork 

serves 6

recipe adapted from Bon Appetit

1.5 Tablespoons fennel seeds

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoons black peppercorns

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper

1 3-pound boneless pork shoulder, excess fat trimmed with thin layer left intact

4 large garlic cloves, minced

1 -2 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. Stir the fennel seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until they’re slightly toasted and and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer seeds to spice mill or mortar with pestle and cool. Add kosher salt, peppercorns, and dried crushed red pepper. Grind to medium-fine consistency (not powder).

2. Place pork in a glass baking dish or on a plate. Rub garlic all over the pork, then coat the meat with the spice mixture. Loosely cover pork with waxed paper and refrigerate it overnight.

3. Preheat the oven to 450°F. Brush a large rimmed baking sheet with oil. Place the roast, fat side up and coating intact, in the center of the sheet. Drizzle the pork evenly with 1 tablespoon oil. Roast the pork for 30 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and continue to roast the pork until it’s very tender, about 3 hours longer. The pork is ready when you can poke it with a fork and it easily shreds. Transfer the pork to cutting board and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes. Serve the pork warm, thickly sliced.



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