My friend Taylor who blogs at English 101 gave me this porchetta recipe. It pretty much blew my mind so I asked her if I could put it on my blog because I wanted the world to have it. She originally suggested using a whole ham (referring to the cut of meat, not a cured ham), but I made it with an inexpensive shoulder roast and it was perfect for a small group of people.
Porchetta is a traditional Italian dish. It can be as fancy as an entire pig that has been deboned, stuffed with fennel, garlic and other herbs and roasted over a pit overnight, or as simple as this. There are many variations, but it is essentially a boneless roast pork dish that is seasoned with fennel and garlic and slowly roasted until it falls apart. Basically, Italian “pulled pork”.
While it isn’t difficult to make at all, it takes a day or two to brine and cook, so I consider it to be a special occasion type of dish. I love it during the holidays and especially like the idea of using it as the main dish at a non-traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
- 1 gallon filtered water
- 2 cups sea salt
- 2 cups maple syrup, honey or granular sweetener of your choice
- Pork Shoulder Roast (ideally with the skin on)
- 1 cup lemon juice
- 2 cups olive oil
- 3 tablespoons coriander
- 3 tablespoons fennel
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 4 cloves garlic
- Combine the ingredients for the brine in a pot, bowl or a cooler.
- Put the roast in the brine, making sure it is covered with liquid.
- Brine the roast for 24-48 hours. (Keep it in the refrigerator or in a cold cooler during this time. Don't get food poisoning!)
- When you are ready to cook the roast, score the skin (or just the fat) with a razor blade.
- Season the roast with salt and pepper and put it in a greased roasting pan.
- Cook it at 450 degrees until it browns. (Around 45 minutes)
- When it's brown, turn the temperature down to 250 degrees.
- Combine lemon juice, olive oil, coriander, fennel, pepper and garlic and pour over the roast.
- Cook the roast at 250 degrees for 6-8 hours (this will depend on the size of your roast) basting every hour.
- Roast is done when it can be cut with a fork.
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