Slow Cooker


December  8, 2015
13 Ratings
Photo by Alpha Smoot
  • Makes 6 servings
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

What You'll Need
  • 3 3/4 to 4 pounds boneless pork shoulder (skin-on, not tied)
  • 20 fresh sage leaves
  • 5 leafy sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
  • 5 leafy sprigs rosemary, stemmed
  • 5 garlic cloves, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons fennel pollen (can sub ground fennel seed, but it is different)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons medium coarse sea salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup dry red or white wine
  1. Heat oven to 250° F.
  2. With a sharp knife, score pork skin in a crosshatch diamond pattern, making 1/8-inch-deep cuts, about 1 inch apart.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Jen
  • Marcey Brownstein
    Marcey Brownstein
  • ChefJune
  • Renee Zarate
    Renee Zarate
  • Scribbles

24 Reviews

Karen May 3, 2021
I made this yesterday and everyone loved it!
I did use crushed fennel seed as opposed to the pollen. Wish I had left it out.
Sara does say it’s different, and, as someone who does not like fennel in Italian sausage, I should have known better. It just overpowered all the other wonderful flavors.
I will make an effort to purchase fennel pollen, as I am intrigued to know what it tastes like.
But it’s a great recipe and my family loved it!
HolidayBakerMan January 3, 2020
Cant wait to try this
Jen November 11, 2017
Hi all! I'm thinking of doing this for Thanksgiving but I feel confused a bit by the recipe and the comments. Does the oven ever change temps? Is that required for the crispy outer layer? Thanks!
Renee Z. November 11, 2017
The temp stays the same, it is absolutely amazing! I follow the recipe as is and keep the low temp throughout. Now I make one of these every other month and freeze the meat in portions so I don't have to cook as often. It is very versatile and leftovers can be used in many different dishes. People rave about this when I make it for a dinner party.
pvanhagenlcsw February 2, 2016
My butcher was unable to provide a skin on pork shoulder so instead I wrapped the skinless roast (already stuffed )in a large piece of pork fat my butcher had give me and then I tied it. I cooked the roast for 1 hr at 500 and for 6 hours at 250. The meat was succulent and delicious. I will definitely cook this again.
Sara J. February 4, 2016
my goal as a cook is to get people comfortable just doing what they have to! I am so happy to hear that this worked out and was delicious, in the end that's all that really matters!
Marcey B. December 30, 2015
I made this last night. It was amazing and is not my new to-to recipe for a crowd. I did blast for 40 minutes in the beginning rather than broil at the end. It was perfect. Thanks Sara!
Wilma December 28, 2015
If you go to Sara Jenkins website, she suggests putting the completely cooked Porchetta under a 500 degree broiler to crisp the cracklings. We did that and it worked beautifully
Marcey B. December 28, 2015
I was wondering what you thought about blasting at 400 for an hour or so or until brown on top and then lowering the heat to 250 for 4-6 hours. I read this somewhere and a friend of mine did your recipe as directed and the skin didn't end up browning enough.
ChefJune December 22, 2015
Oh my! I had great good luck with Luciana's Porchetta - my first attempt at such - so now I have to try this. Funny... I just "happen" to have a pork shoulder in the freezer. This sounds like it would go great with the Black-eyed peas and greens I always serve on New Year's! Thanks, Sara.
Wilma December 15, 2015
I've ordered my skin-on pork shoulder and my fennel pollen. Can't wait to make this for Christmas dinner. One Question--should the pork be placed on a rack or sit directly on the bottom of the roasting pan?
Sara J. December 16, 2015
I let it sit on the pan but I think you can do it either way!
edith December 14, 2015
This sounds great, but can I make it a day ahead or will it be dry?
Kristen M. December 15, 2015
I think it you made it a day ahead and warmed it gently, covered with foil, in the oven at about 250 degrees (it would probably take a good hour), it wouldn't dry out.
tina December 14, 2015
Thinking of porchetta this christmas. Tested a small center cut loin wrapped in belly but found it overly dry in center. Interested in the shoulder but kinda shocked by the 6 hour (is that right?) Cooking time!
Sara J. December 14, 2015
yes 6 hours of low heat is what makes the roast truly spoon tender and lucious
MEK December 13, 2015
Where can I buy the board the roast is on?
Kristen M. December 15, 2015
Right here! :)
Renee Z. December 12, 2015
Where do you buy Fennel Pollen?
kwa128 December 12, 2015
I bought some from Amazon. Wonderful fragrance.
Renee Z. December 13, 2015
Thank you!
Sara J. December 13, 2015
also Zingermann's Deli in Ann Arbor Michigan- they have it and do a lot of mail order business
Jenny January 25, 2016
Oh wow, I didn't know Zingermann's Deli in Ann Arbor is so well known even outside of Ann Arbor. I go to school here and Zingermann's is one of the most popular places to go to!!
Scribbles December 12, 2015
I have got to try this! Sounds like a great dish to help my friends celebrate their retirement at the beginning of the year.