I want to thank my friend and fellow foodie, Allison, for this great recipe. She made it for me and Chuck once and I can still taste that crackling skin…delicious. Juicy pork, fresh herbs, surrounded by crispy skin, topped with salsa verde. This will be your new go-to cold weather meal. So open that special bottle of red wine, and cuddle up with that special someone!
- One 5-pound, boneless pork shoulder, butterflied 1 inch thick (roughly a 10-by-14-inch rectangle)—have your butcher do this
- 2 tbsp flat leaf (Italian) parsley
- 2 tbsp rosemary
- ½ tbsp sage
- 2 cloves garlic (I used a lot more garlic, around 8-10 cloves)
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ⅛ cup salt
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- 1 tsp black pepper
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 heaping cup fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 tsp toasted fennel seed (ground)
- 1 tsp toasted coriander (ground)
- 2 cloves garlic
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of ½ lemon
- salt & pepper to taste
- Xtra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced, 2 tablespoons fronds chopped and reserved
- 1 fennel bulb, thickly sliced
- 2 pounds sweet Italian sausage, casings discarded
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 tablespoons chopped rosemary
- 6 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon pepper, plus more for seasoning
- Kosher salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 4 medium red onions, peeled and halved
- Begin preparation 24 hours in advance.
- In a food processor, combine ingredients for salt rub, pulsing until all ingredients are evenly distributed, remove to bowl.
- Once again in the food processor, combine ingredients for herb rub, pulsing until combined.
- Remove any bone from your pork shoulder. Once bone is removed, butterfly the pork shoulder. (See link below for deboning & butterflying pork shoulder)
- Spread out the pork (skin side up), score the skin in a crosshatch pattern (making shallow cuts on the skin).
- Once pork has been scored, spread out skin side down, spread the herb rub evenly on the inside of the meat, as well as two teaspoons of the salt rub.
- Tightly roll meat so skin is covering the majority of the meat. Try to avoid having any skin wrapped inside the roast, as it won’t crisp up, and that portion of skin will be unpalatable as a result.
- Tightly wrap porchetta with cooking string.
- Rub the rest of the salt mixture into the skin of the pork shoulder.
- Place porchetta on a plate with paper towel, leaving in the refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours.
- In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil until shimmering. Add the yellow onion and the thinly sliced fennel and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 10 minutes. Add the sausage, fennel seeds, rosemary, garlic and the 1 tablespoon of pepper and cook, breaking up the meat, until the sausage is browned, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and let cool. Stir in the eggs and fennel fronds.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Place the red onions and sliced fennel in a large roasting pan. Arrange the pork on a work surface and season with salt and pepper. Spread the sausage mixture over the pork, leaving a 1-inch border all around. Starting at a long side, roll up the pork and tie with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals.
- Heat oven to 275F
- In the middle of the oven, place porchetta on a rack in a roasting pan. If you don’t have a roasting pan, place the porchetta directly on your oven rack, with a dish large enough to catch all the dripping on the rack below.
- Roast pork for about 2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 160F. My roast (3.5 lbs) cooked for about 30 minutes per pound, if you have a larger roast, prepare for a longer cook time.
- Once pork has reached 150F, increase oven heat to 450F, roasting until the pig skin turns into golden brown, puffy crackling, and internal temperature is at least 160F. Keep a close eye on your porchetta in this final step, you don’t want to burn the skin!
- Depending on your oven you may need to rotate the porchetta to evenly cook the crackling. The top of my skin puffed up fairly quickly, so I rotated it to one side and cooked for a while, then rotated to the other side until evenly cooked.
- Once cooked, remove from oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving.
- Slice porchetta and serve with salsa verde.
- Prepare the salsa verde while porchetta is cooking.
- To toast fennel and coriander, place in a dry pan on medium heat, cooking until it becomes fragrant, and lightly browned (about five minutes). Grind in food processor or with a mortar & pestle.
- Combine all the ingredients for salsa verde in a food processor, processing until an even mixture is formed.