Sunday, January 9, 2011

Mock Porchetta

For Christmas dinner this year, I roasted a couple of whole, boned pork shoulders using Judy Rogers' Mock Porchetta recipe in her The Zuni Cafe Cookbook.  I froze the leftovers, and inspired by the Porchetta Sandwich I had at Salumi Artisan Cured Meats in Seattle this past summer, I slow cooked a hunk of the leftover meat in a bit of chicken stock with carrots and celery.  The result was meltingly tender pork with which I stuffed Village Bakery rolls.  A side of boiled Kale made for a satisfying dinner on a cold winter night.

Mock Porchetta (adapted from The Zuni Cafe Cookbook):

3 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and dried
1 tsp grated lemon zest
3 garlic cloves, minced or put through a press
12 sage leaves, chopped
2 tsp minced fresh rosemary
2 tsp crushed fennel seeds
1-1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
2 pounds of prepared vegetables: potatoes, carrots, garlic, etc., cut into chunks
olive oil
2/3 cup chicken stock

Trim, season and tie up the pork (1 to 3 days in advance):

Trim off all but 1/4" of the fat from the pork.  Locate a long seam between the muscles of the pork.  Using a small sharp knife, separate the muscles along the seam exposing more seams as you go.  Continue until you have butterflied the pork.  Salt the pork evenly using about 1-1/2 tsp salt.

Combine the capers, lemon zest, sage, rosemary, fennel and black pepper.  Sprinkle this mixture all over the exposed face of the pork making sure to stuff it into any of the nooks and crannies you have created.  Reform the pork into a roast and tie up the roast.  Use 4 or 5 strings to close the roast and another couple around the length of the roast.  Rub any remaining herbs on the outside of the roast.  Cover the pork and loosely refrigerate so that it dries out a bit.

Roasting the porchetta:

Preheat the oven to 350 °.  Remove the pork roast from the refrigerator.  The colder the roast is, the longer it will take to cook.

Toss the vegetables in a small amount of olive oil, sprinkle with salt and toss again.

Heat an ovenproof skillet large enough to barely contain the vegetables and the pork.  When very hot, add the pork roast.  Surround with vegetables and place in the oven.  After one hour, turn the roast over and roll the vegetables around in the rendered fat.  Repeat after another hour and add 1/3 cup chicken stock.  Roast until the internal temperature reaches 185°.

Transfer the roast to a plate and tent with foil.  Let rest at least 15 minutes before carving.

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