Porchetta is an Italian pork roast traditionally made by deboning a pig carcass, leaving on the fat and skin, and stuffing it with fennel, rosemary, garlic and other ingredients that vary by region. The prepared carcass is slow roasted over wood for several hours resulting in a moist and tender meat with crispy skin. And while the traditional way of making it is far too involved and intimidating to most people this is an easy version. EASY but still thoroughly delicious!
Serving: 6 (more using for sandwiches)
3 pound quality boneless pork roast (pork loin will be leaner but drier; pork shoulder (also known as pork butt or Boston butt) will be fattier but moister and more flavorful)
1 tablespoon salt
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh sage
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fennel seeds (roasted in a dry skillet until fragrant, then cooled and crushed)
2 teaspoons black peppercorns (roasted in a dry skillet until fragrant, then cooled and crushed)
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Lay the roast down and make several cuts into it lengthwise leaving the meat attached at the one side. Each slice should be roughly 1/2 inch or so thick. (Think of the pork roast looking like a book with "pages" of sliced meat that are attached at the binding.) Rub down the exterior of the roast with the salt as well as inside each layer. Note: With a well-marbled roast you won't be able to get precise slices and that's okay, just do your best and rub the spices/herbs in the crevices.
Fold open the first slice/layer and generously sprinkle with the fennel, pepper, herbs, lemon zest and garlic. Continue to fold over the slices and sprinkle the spices/herbs between each slice. Rub down the exterior of the roast with some of the crushed fennel and pepper.
Use kitchen twine to tie the roast.
At this point you can cover and chill the roast until you're ready to cook it. It's a great make-ahead dish and can be prepared a day ahead.
Set the EGG for indirect cooking (with the convEGGtor) at 350°F
Wipe excess marinade off of the roast then place fatty-side down on the grill. Cover EGG and cook until instant read thermometer inserted into the deepest part of roast registers 185°F.
The roast should be beautifully browned and caramelized.
Remove the porchetta from the EGG, place on a platter and tent with foil for a few minutes.
Enjoy the porchetta sliced and served along with mashed potatoes or polenta and vegetables or slice the porchetta and serve it on crispy Italian bread for sandwiches. This makes great leftovers!