Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Porchetta ~ Classic Italian Pork Roast

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.  


Sharing here:

Designs by Gollum
Stone Gable

Mouthwatering Mondays, hosted by A Southern Fairytale
Food On Fridays, hosted by Ann Kroeker
Tempt my Tummy Tuesday, hosted by Blessed with Grace

Funky Junk Interiors
Designer Garden


  1. Oh my gosh, that looks sooooo good. I can almost smell it from here! It is nice to have weather cool enough to roast a chicken for dinner tonight, but I would rather have a big slice of your porchetta, Nancy...

  2. Looks wonderful. I really like your photos with the directions...very nice. I think I'll try this one.

  3. I'm salivating here!!! It looks so YUMMY!

  4. Sounds absolutely amazing and I'll bet your house still smells good:@)

  5. Nancy, porchetta (didn't know how it was spelled) was a favorite of my mother. She loved to shop at a little neighborhood Italian gorcery. It is such a full-flavored, moist roast. I love how you put it in a bed of potatoes -- so colorful and delicious. I want to make this. Great directions and pictures. Joni

  6. looks super yummy.. thanks for the recipe. I can almost smell it from here.

  7. This looks really really good!

  8. That is mouthwatering Nancy! Nice living with a talented chef! YUM!

  9. Nancy, this looks so yummy! Thank you for sharing your recipe, I hope to do this on Sunday, I know the family will love it.. hugs ~lynne~

  10. Nancy,

    Thanks so much for posting of my all time favorites...I've only cooked it once and had to use bacon for the fat and a regular pork loin! Tried to find the fat back they used in a place we first had it in OKC just couldn't find it. So I will be trying your version! LOOKs so good and yes all that garlic is wonderful! We will be in Napa in a couple weeks and always go have this wonderful dish! Now I'm hungry!

    Miss Bloomers

  11. This looks wonderful! Bet there were some fabulous aromas at your house & appitites too!

    Hope you will linkup to Potpourri Friday. Your partipation last week made the party successful and you've been featured!

  12. Nancy, This is the perfect Autumn roast! YUMMY! I am going to make this next week. It will be ON THE MENU MONDAY. Look for a link back to this savory and delightful post!
    I would love you to join ON THE MENU MONDAY with this delicious dish! Linky posts on Sunday night at 8:00. Hope to see you there!

  13. Gorgeous photos and, for those who eat meat, a mouthwatering presentation!

    In 2008 our family flew to Belgium for my in-laws' 50th wedding anniversary. Everyone went together to host a big shindig with all their friends. The main dish? Yep, porchetta. The whole pig. The head was left on, and for comedic effect, the guy who prepared it stuck a big butcher knife through the skull so that it stuck out. "Kids love it!" he exclaimed.

    Most of our kids were horrified.

    Also, my sister-in-law told the guy it needed to be ready at 6pm, but for precision she used the 24-hour clock and said it should be ready at eighteen o'clock, which would be in French, "dix-huit heure." The "huit" is "eight" and the guy didn't hear "dix-huit." He only heard "huit" and thought she meant eight o'clock p.m., which would not be normal in Belgium (it's normal to use the 24-hour in business arrangements such as this).

    Well, as you know, the pig had to cook for a long time, so when my sister-in-law phoned him in a panic at 6:30 to ask where the porchetta was, he said it would be there at 8, just as she requested. That's when they figured out the communication breakdown. She said it was supposed to be ready at 6; he said it was impossible to speed it up.

    We ate quite late that night.

    It all worked out, though, and nobody really cared. We were all so happy to celebrate my in-laws that it ended up being a joyful evening of singing and stories and photos and fun. And, eventually, plates full of porchetta. :)

  14. Nancy, It looks fabulous. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe and the how to part of it. The 4 hours and 400 degrees kinda scares me, but I will trust you. Ha ha. Kathi

  15. Wow! That looks so yummy! I think I will really need to try that sometime!


I love hearing from my readers. I appreciate the time you take to post a comment and I read them all.