Porchetta tastes wonderful but is traditionally time consuming to make. This recipe adds apples and lots of herbs to a pork shoulder for an easier, different, and delicious dinner. —Leith Devine
Test Kitchen Notes
Total showstopper of a dish. This porchetta is deceptively simple to make and the flavor was incredible. I've had porchetta before where the loin gets dried out in the cooking process, but using a shoulder here kept the meat moist all the way through. I loved the extra bit of ground pepper in the herb paste—at first I thought 1 1/2 tablespoons was way too much, but it very much "works" in this dish and adds the right amount of heat to the sweet and savory. My pork didn't come with much of a fat cap, so I slipped the parsley in under the butcher's twine; I'm not sure if it really made that much of a difference that way. All in all, though, this is a great dish, easy enough for beginners and looks fancy and impressive. Can't wait to slice up the leftovers for sandwiches! —Omeletta
4-pound pork shoulder, boned and flattened with some fat cap if possible. The butcher should debone the roast.
apples, cored and chopped into small cubes
zest of 1 lemon
garlic cloves, peeled
rosemary stalks, stripped
fresh thyme leaves
fresh oregano leaves
parsley, divided in half
1 1/2 tablespoons
freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 tablespoons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Try to get a pork shoulder with a fat cap on one side. If there is a fat cap on the meat, make cuts across the fat to make a criss-cross pattern.
Add the garlic, sage, rosemary, thyme, oregano, fennel pollen, parsley, salt, and pepper to a food processor. Process using the pulse setting until combined, then slowly add olive oil until the mixture becomes a smooth paste.
Cut 6 to 8 1-foot lengths of cooking twine and set aside. Preheat oven to 400° F. Prepare roasting pan with a rack; add 1 cup beef broth to the bottom.
Flatten out pork shoulder, meat-side up. Spread the herb paste on the pork, leaving an inch around the edges.
Sprinkle the apples and lemon zest over the paste. Place the bay leaves on the pork.
Roll the pork shoulder up into a round roast. Tie the roast in several places so the roast keeps its shape.
Stuff parsley into the "x" shapes cut into the outside fat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Place on roasting rack and cook for 45 minutes. If the outside is over-browning, tent with foil. Add another cup of beef broth if needed to prevent drippings from burning. Keep adding broth as needed.
After 45 minutes, reduce oven temperature to 350° F. Roast until internal temperature is 160° F. Remove and let sit for 30 minutes before carving. Remove strings and carve into slices.
If desired, potatoes can be roasted in the drippings and broth under the pork. They are delicious like this!