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Wow the Crowd With Porchetta Pork Roast

Cooking up a pork shoulder roast slowly in the oven produces a really tender and flavorful roast unlike any other, especially if you choose some type of rub or herbs that really help to boost the flavor of the roast itself. I have always been intrigued by porchetta roasts, but I hardly have the time or room to make a real traditional porchetta where you make use of the entire pig and de-bone it, stuff it, roll it and slow roast it. This particular recipe from Melissa Clark at New York Times Cooking lets you get the great tastes and flavors of the traditional Italian dish without having to use anything more than a pork shoulder roast and some great spices. Just the picture alone at NYT Cooking made me want to make this and getting a pork shoulder on sale just made it even more urgent for me.

Porchetta Pork Roast

1 (7- to 8- pound) bone-in, skin on pork shoulder roast, or a 6- to 7- pound boneless roast, fat trimmed to 1/4-inch thickness

1/4 cup chopped fennel fronds

1/4 cup chopped fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

5 garlic cloves, grated or mashed to a paste

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon fennel seed

3/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Score the skin and fat all over the pork roast, taking care not to cut down to the meat. In a food processor or using a mortar and pestle, combine the fennel fronds, rosemary, sage, garlic, lemon zest, kosher salt, fennel seed, red pepper flakes and the black pepper. Pour in the olive oil. Pulse or mash the mixture until it forms a paste. Rub the paste all over the pork. If you are using a boneless roast, tie the roast with kitchen twine at 2-inch intervals. Transfer the pork roast to a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the roast for at least 6 hours and preferably overnight.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before you want to cook it. Heat the oven to 450 degrees. Transfer the pork to a rimmed baking sheet and roast it for 35 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325 degrees and cook the roast for an additional 2 hours 45 minutes to 4 hours, until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat registers 180 degrees, which will give you sliceable, tender meat. Bone-in roasts will take longer to cook than boneless, thus the varying time range.

Transfer the pork to a cutting board and allow the roast to rest for 15 to 30 minutes before serving. Make sure everyone gets some of the cracklings of the roast.

This roast is really easy to make and if you are leery of trying to score the skin yourself, you can always ask the butcher to do it for you, but it can be done pretty simply with a good knife. The recipe produces a super tender pork roast and the cracklings you get from the fat and the skin are out of this world. You get a lot of meat from this recipe, so it is good to make for a crowd and the rub that you use gives great flavor to the roast with the fennel and the sage. Leftovers are perfect for sandwiches the next day and you can even throw the meat in some of your favorite store-bough or homemade barbecue sauce to make a pulled pork like sandwich for yourself or use the meat on some nachos. I’ll definitely be making this one again since it was so easy to do.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on January 10, 2015 in Cooking, Dinner, Pork

 

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A New Way to Try Pulled Pork – Asian Oven Roasted Pulled Pork

We are big pulled pork eaters in our house. I make mine in the oven most of the time (though I have tried the slow cooker as well) and have a standard recipe I have used in the past that makes a nice, spicy pulled pork with a great barbecue sauce, but sometimes I like to try things a little different to spice things up a bit. I have a couple of recipes for pork that I had been holding onto and when I saw pork shoulder on sale the other day I decided to pick it up and give one a try. I chose to use this recipe, which came from White on Rice Couple, for an Asian oven roasted pulled pork. It was easy to make, used some great spices and created a great tasting meal for us.

Asian Oven Roasted Pulled Pork

4-5 pound pork butt or pork shoulder

1 onion, diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

5-6 garlic cloves, minced

1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes

2 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger

1/4 cup fish sauce or soy sauce

2 tablespoons chili garlic sauce

1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard

1/4 cup brown sugar, packed

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and heat the oil until it is shimmering. Add the onion and the garlic and cook until the onions are soft and fragrant, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, ginger, fish sauce or soy sauce, chili garlic sauce, brown mustard, brown sugar and black pepper. Gently stir the sauce and simmer the sauce on low heat for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.

Heat a large cast iron pan or deep ovenproof skillet on medium-high heat. Lightly coat the pork butt or pork shoulder with olive oil and season the pork on all sides with salt and pepper. Sear each side of the pork in the skillet until the pork has browned all over, about 3 to 5 minutes per side. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the tomato sauce mixture over the pork to coat it completely. Cover the pork with aluminum foil. Bake the pork for about 3 to 4 hours or until the pork is tender and easily shreds when a fork is inserted into the meat.

Allow the pork to rest on a  cutting board for about 15 minutes before shredding the entire piece of pork. Keep aluminum foil over the pork to keep it warm until you are ready to serve it.

You get some tremendous flavors from the pork thanks to the fish sauce, ginger and chili sauce in this one and the mustard and brown sugar set in with their own sweetness and spiciness as well. I used a boneless pork butt for my meal but I think you could use either one if you prefer the flavoring you get with the bone in. I would recommend using fish sauce over soy sauce if you have it since it adds a completely different type of flavor, but soy sauce will work well if that is what you have around.Also, I did place the pork under the broiler for a couple of minutes to crisp up the outside just a little bit before I shredded it to add some extra crunch. This dish is perfect on rolls for pulled pork sandwiches, or to serve for tacos or quesadillas or even just by itself with some rice, which is what I did with it when we first made it and then used leftovers for tacos. It’s a nice twist if you want something a little different from the usual pulled pork.

That’s all I have for today. Check back next time for another recipe. Until then, enjoy the rest of your day and enjoy your meal!

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Posted by on October 15, 2014 in Cooking, Dinner, Pork, Sandwiches

 

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