Porchetta Is My New Preferita!
I like to stuff and roll all kinds of meat and have stuffed pork many times, but this time I wanted to make a very traditional stuffed Italian pork called PORCHETTA. The Italian word for pork is Maiale. When we were in Tuscany a couple years ago I ate maiale nearly every day. Porchetta is traditionally wrapped in pork belly, but unfortunately I could not get my hands on any, so decided to wrap the pork loin in bacon. And just to make sure there was enough pork flavor I chose to stuff with some beautiful Italian salami and provolone cheese. This is not traditional, but as with so many dishes there are regional differences so this is my version from the southwest of Arizona region.
2 lb. pork roast
8 slices good quality salami or enough to fill the pork in one layer with slight overlap
4 slices provolone or enough to fill one layer with a bit of overlap
8 slices (or more) thick-cut bacon
4 fresh sage sprigs and 4 fresh rosemary sprigs for the overnight ‘resting’
Ingredients For the Spice Rub:
1 tsp. whole fennel seeds
4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp. fresh sage leaves, finely sliced
2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Lemon zest from 1 lemon
1 tsp. Kosher salt, or more to taste (I used about 1 1/2 tsp.)
1/4 tsp. red pepper flake
1 Tbsp. olive oil or more to make a thick paste
This amount of spice produced a very herbaceous flavor heavy on the pepper. For my husband, Jerry, whose pallet is a bit more delicate than mine it was a bit much, but for myself I thought it was perfect. Adjust spices up or down as you like.
Spice Rub Preparation:
Crush the fennel seeds in a mortar with a pestle until mashed; about 1-2 minutes. Add garlic, sage, black and red peppers, rosemary, salt and lemon zest. Pound into a thick paste. Add olive oil and pound until all ingredients are totally blended.
Cut a slit 3/4 of the way through the center of the pork so the pork opens like a book. Spread about 1/2 of the spice mixture over one side of the pork. Top with salami and cheese. Close the pork and evenly spread the rest of the spice mixture over the top. Wrap the pork loin with thick-cut bacon so bacon ends or seams are on the bottom of the roast. I topped the wrapped pork roast with big long sprigs of fresh sage and rosemary. If you want less of an herby flavor, skip this, but I think this is part of what made this pork loin so delicious! Wrap the pork roast tightly in foil and refrigerate at least overnight. I refrigerated for 2 nights, which enhanced the flavors of the Spice Rub.
Heat a gas grill to 400 degrees. I chose to add a smoker box into the grill to give the roast a little smoky flavor, as over the centuries in Italy they would often roast Porchetta over a wood grill with open flame. Bring the meat to room temperature for about 45 minutes before grilling. Place the roast on the grill and grill on all 4 sides until bacon is nice and crispy. Lower the heat to 350 on the pork side of the grill (keep the other half of the grill at 400 degrees) and continue cooking until a meat thermometer reads 135 degrees. This cooked very quickly and was up to temp in about 20 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before carving. The meat will continue to cook and final temp will reach about 140-145 degrees.
|Tender, juicy, perfectly succulent pork.
I served with lightly steamed broccoli,
and pasta with sauted mushrooms, lots of garlic,
olive oil, coarse salt, and freshly ground black pepper.
Alternatively you could roast this in your oven. Preheat to 450 degrees. Place roast on a foil-lined baking sheet and roast until internal temperature reaches 135 degrees. Follow the steps, as above.
I love cooking outside on the grill, especially when my husband joins me!
|Our back yard as night approaches.|
|Not only is my brother a fantastic cook, but also a great gardener!
At their home on the farm, Eliot, Maine. July 2019
|Enjoying an Empress Gin on the back patio at the farm.
June 13, 2020
|Me and Skip at the Wells, Maine food-truck rally. July 2019|
|Skip and his beautiful wife, Esther, Portsmouth, NH August 2017|
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