This is JUST gorgeous! A domestic take on the classic Italian marketplace or street food, Porchetta, which is actually roast suckling pig. Porchetta is thickly sliced and served in ciabatta bread as a delectable hot sandwich throughout Italy. My recipe is a much-adapted recipe taken from one of Nigella Lawson's cookbooks, and it is SO easy to make at home. I cook mine in the crock-pot for meltingly soft and tender pulled pork - however, I have also given traditional roasting directions in this recipe. Preparation time includes the 24 hour period required for the pork to marinade in its herbed and spiced rub.
- 2 kg pork shoulder, boned, trimmed of fat and butterflied
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
- 6 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 -3 tablespoons fresh rosemary leaves, finely chopped
- 4 fresh bay leaves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh ground black pepper
- 10 ciabatta rolls
- Lay the pork on a large chopping board and cover with cling film. With a rolling pin, mallet, or other suitable blunt object, pound the meat as close to an even 1" thickness that you can manage.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a frying pan over a medium high. Add all of the chopped onion, half the minced garlic, half the fennel seeds, all of the rosemary and bay, half of the ground cloves, salt and pepper, and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until all the fragrance has been released from the herbs and spices. Transfer to a plate to cool.
- Spread and rub this mixture over and into the pork, then roll the meat up as tightly and neatly as you can. Tie with kitchen string at intervals.
- Mix the remaining ingredients (minced garlic, fennel seeds, ground cloves, olive oil) and rub it over the outside of the pork. Cover it with cling film and refrigerate 24 hours, or at least overnight.
- Remove the meat 40 minutes before cooking to allow it to return to room temperature. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 150C/300F Take the cling film off the pork and place the pork joint in to a roasting tin.
- Cook the pork for 4 hours to 5 hours, until it is falling apart when you test it with a knife or fork. If the spices on the surface start to char too badly (a little blackness is a good thing), tent foil loosely over the roast. (I find I need to cover it for the last hour of cooking.).
- CROCK POT - at this stage, cook the pork in a crock pot for 4 to 5 hours on high, or on automatic for up to 8 hours.
- Remove from the oven and leave to rest at least 30 minutes to one hour. Slice, pull or shred the meat and serve in warmed ciabatta rolls.