Author Notes: Hot, aromatic, slow-cooked pork with lots of crispy cracklings, sliced thick and stuffed into a plain bread roll, was the market-day treat of my childhood—but it's just as delicious as the centerpiece roast in a holiday feast.
Traditionally, porchetta is made from a whole (up to 300-pound) boned-out pig, or the loin wrapped in the belly. Since neither of these are very practical for the home cook, I use a skin-on boneless pork shoulder for a great home version. Basting with wine is not traditional, but it’s a nice way to make a sauce to go with it. —Sara Jenkins
Makes: 6 servings
3 3/4 to 4
pounds boneless pork shoulder (skin-on, not tied)
fresh sage leaves
leafy sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
leafy sprigs rosemary, stemmed
garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
tablespoons fennel pollen (can sub ground fennel seed, but it is different)
teaspoons medium coarse sea salt
teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
cup dry red or white wine
- Heat oven to 250° F.
- With a sharp knife, score pork skin in a crosshatch diamond pattern, making 1/8-inch-deep cuts, about 1 inch apart.
- Finely chop thyme, sage, rosemary, and garlic together (you can do this by pulsing in a food processor, or by hand). Place mixture in a small bowl, add fennel pollen, salt, and pepper, and stir together well.
- Lay the pork flat, unrolling it if needed. With a paring knife, make about 10 incisions (about 1/2-inch deep) all over the pork and stuff with about 1/3 of the herb mixture. Tie pork with kitchen twine, brush the oil over the skin, and rub all over with the remaining herb mixture.
- Set pork in a roasting pan, fat-side up. Roast for 2 hours. Pour the wine over the pork and baste with the wine and accumulated juices. Continue roasting, basting once every hour, until the skin is well browned and the meat is spoon-tender, 4 to 6 hours more (internal temperature will be 170° F to 180° F). Remove from oven. Let meat rest 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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