Porchetta Pork Roast

Porchetta 550

Back to my Italian Feast dinner party over the weekend.    Of course on Monday I had to start with dessert. Everyone likes dessert first. 

Most of the time when you think of cooking Italian for friends you immediatly think of making a pasta dish, that was the first thing that crossed my mind anyway.  But of course. me being me, I don’t like to do default, I like to try something different.  

This dish caught my eye because it reminded me of my Pernil but with Italian seasonings.  It was something I was very familiar and comfortable with but still something different and of course being a Puerto Rican gal pork will always have a special place in my heart.


First I had to get the rub all together.  Take 2 tablespoons of fennel seed and toast them in small skillet over medium-high heat until slightly browned.  You don’t need to add any oil or anything to the skillet.


Now if you are up with technology and have a super-duper gadget kitchen, you just may have spice mill.  If you do add the fennel seed and all the other remaining spices and grind to a medium-fine consistencey but not powder. 

However if you don’t have a spice mill you first pump some iron and then use a motar and pestal. 


That is what I did.  It took some elbow grease and a little sweat of the brow, but I crushed it pretty good. 

If you do not have a spice mill or mortar and pestal you can pour all the spices into a reasealable plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin, crushing the spices.

It’s all about improvising people…you know channeling your inner McGuyver.


Place the pork in a glass baking dish.  Mince or press 6 garlic cloves and rub your pork on all sides with garlic and rub.    Do it evenly and don’t be shy, the pork likes the rub down….it told me so.  Don’t ask it was a weird day. :/

After the rub down loosely cover with wax paper and refrigerate overnight.


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees .  Brush a baking sheet with olive oil and transfer the pork fatty side up on to the baking sheet.  Drizzle the pork with olive oil and roast in the oven for 30 minutes.  Reduce the oven tempurture to 350 degrees and roast for an additional 3 hours and 15 minutes or until the pork is tender and a thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 190 degrees. 


Pull the pork roast out of the oven and let it rest for 15 to 30 minutes before slicing. 

Before slicing take a moment to smell the intoxicating aroma and appreciate the beautiful crust on this succulant piece of meat.  Mmmmm!

This roast did not disappoint me or my guest.  It smelled incrediable and it was so tender that the meat just fell apart when Obed cut into it.  My favorite part was the crust…..the crust was to die for!

The bonus…we had leftovers that made some awesome sandwiches and pasta later in the week.


Print Recipe

Porchetta Roast Pork  (Bon Appétit  | June 2010)

  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 5 1/2- to 6-pound boneless pork shoulder (Boston butt), excess fat trimmed with thin layer left intact
  • 6 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for brushing

Stir fennel seeds in small skillet over medium-high heat until slightly darker in color and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer seeds to spice mill and cool. Add kosher salt, peppercorns, and dried crushed red pepper. Grind to medium-fine consistency (not powder).  If you do not have a spice mill you can also use a mortar and pestal or place all the seasonings in a resealable plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin, crushing the spices.

Place the pork in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Rub garlic all over pork and coat with spice mixture on all sides. Loosely cover pork with waxed paper. Refrigerate overnight.

Preheat oven to 450°F. Brush large rimmed baking sheet with olive oil. Place roast, fat side up and coating intact, in center of sheet. Drizzle evenly with 2 tablespoons oil. Roast pork 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Roast pork until very tender and thermometer inserted into center of pork registers 190°F, about 3 hours 15 minutes longer. Transfer pork to cutting board; reserve baking sheet. Let pork rest 15 to 30 minutes.

Thinly slice roast.


  1. Andy S says

    you might try doing it a more traditional way…butterfly the pork…put the seasoning inside and out..roll and tie, then roast.

  2. spike says

    For a quick and easy version of this:

    Rub some butterfly pork chops with a sliced garlic clove.
    Sprinkle kosher salt, pepper and fennel seeds on both sides.
    Press in the spices by wrapping the chops in saran wrap and using a plate. Pan-fry in some olive oil, and add a bit of red wine at the end to finish.

    10 minutes start to finish, and a huge flavor reminiscent of Italian sausage, but in a more elegant setting.

    /Adapted from an old Jaques Pepin Today’s Gourmet recipe.

  3. spike says

    I’m going to try it in the crock pot, a la the pernil. It’s just too hot here in Georgia to have an oven running for 4 hours plus.

  4. says

    I can smell the fennel seeds from here!
    Too hot right now to make this, but am bookmarking it for cooler days ahead!
    Glad to see you are up and running!
    I missed a few posts!


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