Thursday, December 31, 2015
The holidays have been wonderful. I hope yours were too. For the first time in years all my wife’s siblings and families were together for the holidays. This could only mean one thing…lots of eating and celebrating. For three of our days we cooked and ate non-stop. One day we had the annual paella feast, the next was Christmas Eve so I prepared a Bolognese a few days earlier, perfect for re-heating after Christmas Eve’s mass. But the piece de resistance for me this year was Christmas Day’s dinner. I finally took the leap and made my own porchetta.
I enlisted the help of Corralitos Market to acquire a six pound, skin-on pork belly and a boneless, butterflied pork butt. I brought to them a blend of rosemary, fennel, coriander, lemon zest, thyme, pork fat, red wine, salt and pepper. They rubbed the pork belly and the butt with this then wrapped the belly around the butt, creating one giant roast.
This sat uncovered in my refrigerator for two days before being cooked.
I first put it in the oven at 500 degrees for 40 minutes, smoking up the house with delicious scents of cooking pork skin. I then turned it down to 300 for three hours, basting with the melted juices mixed with some wine.
I took the beast from the oven and let it sit for about 40 minutes while other family members prepared an apple slaw, some rosemary roasted potatoes and fresh, homemade ciabbata. Carved at the table the porchetta fell apart in a moist, crusty, flavorful carnivorous mess, and it was beautiful.
I am eating leftovers right now on some ciabatta and making a mess of my keyboard. Gotta run!