Today we welcomed cooler weather here in Tulsa, and my family celebrated it with a fantastic pork roast, called Porchetta (pronounced Pork etta) made in the classic Italian style. So long Summer, hello Autumn. Actually, I celebrated and Shawn slaved to make this. ;-) He got an eensie teensie bit of help from Ethan and me.
Isn't it beautiful?
Tuscany is famous for big, bold flavors. This roast is no exception. There they will often prepare this roast using the whole pig! It's a common tradition to go into the city center on the weekends to buy Porchetta where it is prepared by locals who've been making this for generations.
We started with a 10 lb. pork shoulder roast. Try to get one that has the skin/fat still attached. This may require a trip to your local butcher. This is important because what makes the Porchetta stand out as a unique roast is that you get the crunchy cracklin (skin) in addition to the fantastic roast.
De-bone the roast and from the center cut the roast so that it opens up and lays flat. Combine approximately 20 cloves of chopped garlic, and a bunch (3 tablespoons each) of fresh Spanish thyme & rosemary, 1 teaspoon crushed red chili pepper and 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper with 3/4 cup of olive oil.
Apply this to the inside of the roast and then roll it up and tie with cooking twine. Don't worry about the olive oil & spices that run out of the roast, simply use it to rub down the outside of the roast once you have it tied off.
(we had a little technical difficulty here as our butchers twine mysteriously disappeared (Jonah) so we tried to get it back inside the twine it was wrapped in before! That did not work out for us. We wound up cutting up the twine and then re-tying.)
Ok, with the messy part of the project complete let's move on to the the veggies. Shawn used one large bunch of celery, three large carrots, one onion (all chopped), 20 whole garlic cloves and approx. 2 pounds of fingerling potatoes (which are just delicious!).
Combine all in your roast pan, place the roast directly on top of the veggies and then add one 32 oz portion each of chicken and beef stock.
Pre-heat the over to 450 and let it cook for approx. four hours. Yes, you heard me correctly... four hours at 450.
Check the roast about two hours in, and then again after three hours of cooking. It may require a bit more broth and you may also want to cover it with foil to avoid over browning the roast. What emerges a short time later is an absolutely delicious meal. In addition to the wonderful roast & accompanying vegetables, make sure everyone gets a bit of the crispy cracklin portion of the skin/fat! It is traditionally served with a piece of cracklin on the top. It's so crisp and flavorful!
I remove the veggies and roast onto a big turkey sized transferware (what else?) platter and then we serve the broth separately so that it can be as soupy as you like.
Slice it up and you can see and smell the beautiful, fresh herbs.
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