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swirl and savor

Porchetta, Italian Pork Roast

Beth Ribblett

This Porchetta is the first step in my Lasagne alla Cacciatore or you can make it as a stand alone meal with a light gravy. Jamie Oliver used a loin of pork on the bone for this, but I substituted a pork shoulder roast to use it in the lasagna, and I left out some of the vegetables he used. Here is a link to his recipe: Porchetta

• 1 3.5 Ib. pork shoulder roast, on the bone
• 1 tablespoons fennel seeds
• 1 small dried chilies, crumbled
• 1 tablespoons rock salt, crushed
• 2 bay leaves, torn
• 1/2 lemon, zested
• olive oil
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 onion, quartered
• 6 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
• 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary
• 1 wineglass of white wine
* for gravy: 1 cup chicken or vegetable stock (not needed for lasagna recipe)
Score your pork and place it on a cutting board. Preheat your oven to its highest setting. Using a pestle and mortar, a coffee grinder, or a metal bowl with a rolling pin, smash up the fennel seeds with the chilies and rock salt until you have a fine powder, then add the torn bay leaves and smash those up too. Mix in the lemon zest. Rub the mixture evenly all over the pork meat, covering it completely.

Place the pork in a snug-fitting appropriately sized roasting pan. Drizzle a little olive oil over the skin and season with salt, rubbing it into the scores. Place in the preheated oven, close the door, and immediately turn the oven down to 350°F. This way you will start the crackling off really hot and fast and the skin will puff up. The reduced temperature will then cook the meat through nice and evenly, keeping it moist at the same time. It will need to roast for about an hour and a half, or until a meat thermometer reaches 165°F - feel free to leave it for a bit longer if you like. It just means the pork will be a bit drier but it will still be tasty.

When the meat has been cooking for half an hour, add the onion to the-pan with the garlic, the whole rosemary sprigs, and the wine. Give the pan a shake to get some fat onto the veg. When the pork is cooked, remove it from the pan and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.

*Stop at this point for the lasagna dish or continue if you just want to eat roast pork!

You'll have some nice roasted root veg and sticky goodness left in the bottom of the pan from which you can make your gravy. Pour off the fat and add a little of your stock, then give the gravy a stir, making sure you get all the lovely sticky brown bits off the bottom of the pan - you may not need to use all the stock. The Italians tend to keep their gravy light and more natural if using any, so this is the consistency you're after. Carve into thin slices with a sharp knife to serve.