Saturday, August 21, 2010


I had never heard of Porchetta before I found the recipe in Nigella's Fresh cookbook.

It's a boneless pork roast flattened and rolled up with herbs and spices and baked in a low oven for hours. This peticular recipe calls for Onions, garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds, cloves and olive oil.


(printable copy)

4 1/2 lbs. boneless pork shoulder, butterflied
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 large sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
8 black peppercorns, coarsely crushed
8-10 or so ciabatta or other soft rolls

Lay the pork out on a chopping board and cover with plastic wrap. Using either a rolling pin or meat mallet pound the meat to an even 1-inch thickness or as near as you can get.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a frying pan and cook the onion for a few minutes until it's beginning to soften. Add half the garlic, half the fennel seeds, and all the rosemary and bay leaves, half the ground cloves, the salt and pepper, and cook for a minute more, then transfer to a plate and leave to cool.

Spread this cooled mixture over the pork, rubbing it in well, then roll up the pork tightly and secure at regular intervals with string.

Mix together the remaining garlic, fennel and ground cloves with the remaining olive oil. Rub this over the surface of the pork. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and leave to steep in the refrigerator overnight or for 24 hours. But do remember to take it out of the refrigerator a good 40 minutes before you start cooking as the meat has to be at room temperature when it goes in the oven.

So. preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and put the pork in a roasting pan and cook for 4 hours. It may need covering toward the end of cooking time, so look at it after about 3- if it looks as if it's beginning to blacken too much , tent it loosely with foil for the last hour.

Remove from the oven and leave, uncovered, for an hour or so before slicing it, putting it into whatever rolls or bread your using.

* I used two pork tenderloins and it only needed a couple of hours to cook.

We had two pork tenderloin instead of a boneless pork shoulder as stated in the recipe but we made it work. Jim flattened out the tenderloin and spread on the onion/herb mixture. These were some unusual flavors for us with the fennel and cloves but it all worked together so well.

We had to improvise when rolling up the roast. We had no butchers string to roll it up so we used our wooden skewers instead.

Look at how it turned out! Isn't it gorgeous? And the was totally amazing. Jim and I couldn't stop nibbling on the crust. In fact you can see the nibble Jim took of the top.

Ready to assemble.....

Classic porchetta sandwich with provolone served with my own Califlower Salad.

Cauliflower Salad

(printable copy)

1 large califlower, broken into flowerettes
1 bunch green onions, sliced
1 lb. turkey bacon, fried and chopped up
1 (8 oz) 2% cheddar cheese block, cubed small
1/2 cup light mayonnaise, can add more if needed
1/2 cup light sour cream, can add more if needed


Steam cauliflower until tender crisp. Set aside to cool.After all other ingredients have been cooked and chopped as per directions combine everything with cauliflower and chill for a couple of hours.Serve as you would "real" potato salad.


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