Faux-Porchetta

This is an incredible recipe and I can’t take any credit for it.  G and I went to a neighbors for a beverage one beautiful summer afternoon a couple of years ago and they had made a faux porchetta for an hors d’ouerves.  I don’t normally take more than a single piece of meat off an hors d’ ouerves plate, but I was embarrassed to realize I’d eaten about 5 or 6.  Cow-a-bunga, what magic was this?

Let’s talk fennel seeds.  They are amazing.  If you like anise or licorice, you are going to love fennel.  I mean really, where have you been all my life?  Toasting the seeds before grinding them intensifies their flavor even more.  I grind mine in a coffee grinder.  When you take the top off, stand back.  The aroma is strong and hits you right in the nose.

This is the recipe that caused me to invent my spicy cole slaw dressing.  I love the combination of sweet chili sauce with all of the marinade spices.  I will be shocked if you don’t love this pork roast as much as I do.  It’s worth every step you have to take to make it.

(This is a pork butt, which does not come from anywhere near a pig’s butt.  I know, whatever?)

2 tablespoons fennel seeds

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoon black peppercorns

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1 5 ½ to 6 pound boneless pork butt or shoulder

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup dry white wine

½ cup chicken broth

Toast fennel seeds in small skillet until slightly darker, 4 to 5 minutes.  Cool.  Place in a grinder with the salt, peppercorns and crushed red.  Grind to medium fine.

Place pork in a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Rub all over with garlic, then spice mix.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Brush a large baking sheet with oil.  Place roast, fat side up with coating intact, in the center of the pan.  Drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons oil.  Roast pork for 30 minutes.  Reduce oven temp to 300 degrees.  Roast pork until very tender and internal temp registers 190 degrees, about 3 hours 45 minutes.  Transfer pork to cutting board.  Reserve baking pan.  Let pork rest, 15 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, pour all pan juices into a 2-cup measure.  Spoon off the fat that rises to the top.  Place baking pan across 2 burners.  Pour wine and broth onto pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, scraping up any browned bits.  Boil until wine mixture is reduced to ¾ cup, about 4 minutes.  Add degreased pan juices and whisk to blend.  Pour into a small bowl or gravy boat.  Sauce will be thin, but excellent.

Thinly slice meat and serve with sauce.

The leftover pork makes great pulled pork sandwiches.  Shred the meat, add remaining sauce, a good bar-b-que sauce and some creamy cole slaw on a good roll.

*  From the Recipe Box: 

Neighbors served this sliced for an hors d’ oeuvre.  I liked it that way, but it makes a great dinner.  The next night, shredded like pulled pork might be even more better.  I’ve also matchsticked it for salads and fried rice.

I butterflied the roast so I would have more surface area to rub the herbs.

It’s a commitment, but worth every minute spent.

The original recipe came from Bon Appetit for a faux (fake) porchetta.  It’s not an honest-to-god Italian porchetta, but you won’t care.

I loved the fennel flavor.  I made cole slaw with shredded cabbage, mayo and sweet chili sauce combined for dressing.  I must say it was fabulous.

and remember:  Be a voice, not an echo.  Big kiss, Lynn

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