My dad's Porchetta is one of our family favorites. It is made with a pork shoulder simply seasoned, rolled, tied and roasted with the skin left on. After hours of roasting, the fat from the skin keeps the meat tender and juicy and the skin crisps up. I remember my parents always looking in the market sales flyers for good deals and when pork was on sale my parents would get a few roasts. My dad would debone them, flaten them out and season them heartily with black pepper, salt and garlic salt. He season them, roll them, tie them and then wrap them well and freeze them so they would be ready and on hand whenever he wanted them. My parents were known for impromtu meals. If you stopped in for a visit it was a guarantee that within minutes a womderful spread of food was sure to follow and by the time the first few courses were finished out would come the steaming delicious prochetta with a fresh garden salad, usually made with ingredients fresh from thier bountiful garden. And I can't think of Porchetta without thinking of our annual family pig roasts. Our pig roasts were usually held on Labor Day. The simply seasoned pig was slow roasted for hours on end on a large homemade spit attached to an outdoor cement and brick barbeque and cooking area that my dad, grandfather and brother built in our backyard. Tables were placed in the street and the neighborhood would all come together to enjoy the day. Some of my fondest memories are the pig roasts with our wonderful neighbors, freinds and relatives. The pictures below the recipe were take by our neighbor Jack during one of our many pig roasts. That year the pelting rain could not dampen the day. The tables were moved from the street into the cover of Jack and his wife Pat's garage where we relaxed between the rain showers and feasted on a wonderful meal including the delicious pig roasted in daddy's spit accompanied by side dishes prepared and shared by everyone in the neighborbood. I don't make Porchetta often but when I do, I cant help but cast a loving glance back to treasured times and memories. Today our cousins carry on the tradition of the annual pig roast. It is wonderful not only to get together with the family for a pig roast but it is a true blessing to see the younger generaton taking over, planning, organizing and hosting and most of all keep up family traditions for the little ones and the generations to come.
5 to 6 pound pork shoulder, de-boned with its exterior fat intact
2 +/- tablespoons garlic salt* (use garlic powder if you prefer)
2 +/- tablespoons salt*
2 +/- tablespoons black pepper*
* There are no exact measurements with the recipe. Season the pork well on the inside and out with the salt, garlic salt ( or powder, if you prefer) and black pepper.
Use a pork shoulder, deboned with its exterior fat. Filet the roast flat so that you can season the inside well. Generouly coat the inside of the pork with salt, black pepper and garlic salt. Roll the should, tie with the butchers twine and place in a pan with a little water and the fat side up. Season the outside of the roast. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Place the shoulder in the oven for about 1/2 hour. Then reduce the heat to 350 F and continue to roast the shoulder for about 3 hours. During this time frequently baste the pork with its own juices every 20 minutes or so as needed. You may need to add additional water to the pan, check frequently so it does not burn. The skin should be hard and crackly. Once the pork is cooked through and the skin is cooked well, allow it to rest for 20 minutes before removing the twine and carving.
My dad did not use herbs. However from time to time I have made a bouquet of fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, oregano and thyme) and added it to the water in the bottom of the pan. It makes for a fragrant house and adds a delightful infrusion of herbs to the pork. Make sure that there is a thin layer of water in the bottom of the pan, this will mix with the pork juices and make for a wonderful basting liquid.