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porchetta skin

I'm planning to try out Melissa Clark's (counterfeit/inauthentic/call it what you want but I'm making it) porchetta recipe (http://cooking.nytimes...) but am curious about her approach. She starts out by blasting it at 450 for 35 minutes, then moves to the low and slow approach. Based on the comments I'd finish it at 275 rather than her recommended 325.

I've always done pork shoulder recipes (bo ssam, pernil asado, etc) the opposite way, ie start low and slow and finish high. Can anyone here tell me why you would start high rather than low?

asked by jakestavis about 2 years ago

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8 answers 689 views
Amy
Amy
added about 2 years ago

Just a shot in the dark here, but isn't a similar approach taken with steak? Sear it hot to seal in the juices and flavor? Then, in your case, finish it low to cook it through. Again...just guessing.

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cv
cv
added about 2 years ago

Some people think that you need to sear meat at a high temperature to "lock in the juices" [sic]. This has been definitively debunked many times by some very reputable people.

Either way, the point is to cook meat until the internal temperature reaches a certain level. If you sear at the end, you get a more crispy exterior. This is in fact what high-end steakhouses do these days. I did the same with a tri-tip roast on the grill last night.

Despite the fact this "sear to lock in juices" falsehood has been proven wrong time and time again, it's a very persistent kitchen myth that is still widely (and erroneously) believed.

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Jan Weber
added about 2 years ago

Porchetta skin is tricky because the edibility and crispiness of the skin entirely depends on how well fat from the inside of the skin is allowed to penetrate and flow to the outside of the skin. This is why many recipes tell you to pierce the skin as many times as humanly possible without falling over from fatigue. With that said, if you leave the high heat/searing until the end, it is much more likely you will end up with a crispy exterior which is necessary to enjoying it, because otherwise it remains inedibly rubbery and tough.

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Jan Weber
added about 2 years ago

Also make sure to cook on a rack to prevent juices and vapor from making the skin damp again.

pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 2 years ago

Porchetta is one of my own specialties https://food52.com/recipes...
I cook it at a steady 350F basting it often to be sure the skin is crisp One key element is the internal temperature. I swear by the Thermapen to tell me it's 145 on the inside.

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jakestavis
added about 2 years ago

Thanks pierino. Unfortunately I've already started marinating with the bone in so I think it's a bit late to switch recipes, but I'm a bit confused -- wouldn't basting prevent a crispy skin, unless you were to finish it at a high temp?

pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 2 years ago

Basting in pan drippings is fine. Your oven heat is dry. You'll still get a nice skin over the cooking time. In Italy porchetta is made from a whole suckling pig. Not just one cut. The shoulder is fine as a substitute. A picnic ham (fresh) is even better.

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pierino
pierino

pierino is a trusted source on General Cooking and Tough Love.

added about 2 years ago

Basting in pan drippings is fine. Your oven heat is dry. You'll still get a nice skin over the cooking time. In Italy porchetta is made from a whole suckling pig. Not just one cut. The shoulder is fine as a substitute. A picnic ham (fresh) is even better.

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