Porchetta is a pork roast recipe that was brought to America from Italy during the early 20th century. The dish remains a favorite in the Upper Midwest, especially in Michigan and Minnesota, where it was introduced to mining communities by Italian immigrants. Typically made from a fatty pork shoulder roast with the skin on, this savory dish is seasoned with garlic, rosemary, fennel, and other herbs. The skin, which is sometimes scored, cooks to a crisp to become tasty cracklings. Porchetta sandwiches are commonly found on menus in Connecticut and Philadelphia.
Recipe Servings: 8
+ 7 hours 15 minutes resting
- 7–8 lb pork shoulder roast (bone-in, skin-on) or 6–7 lb boneless pork shoulder roast (skin-on)
- ¼ cup fennel fronds, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 2 tsp fresh sage leaves, chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, grated or mashed to a paste
- 1 lemon, zest finely grated
- 1½ Tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp fennel seed
- ¾ tsp red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp ground black pepper
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Pat the roast dry using paper towel.
- Score the skin and fat all over the pork roast using a knife and taking care not to cut down to the meat. This step is optional.
- Combine the fennel fronds, rosemary, sage, garlic, lemon zest, salt, fennel seed, red pepper flakes, ground black pepper, and olive oil in a food processor. Pulse until a paste forms.
- Rub the paste all over the pork roast, place it in a large bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and chill it in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 6 hours.
- Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1–2 hours before it will be cooked.
- Preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet, placing it skin-side up, and roast it in the oven for 35 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 325°F and continue to cook for 2½–4 hours, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 180°F. Boneless roasts will cook more quickly than ones with bone.
- Remove the roast from the oven, transfer it to a cutting board, and let it rest for 15–30 minutes before slicing and serving.
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