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BBQ Time! Porchetta-Style Pork Shoulder

In and around Rome, Italy, porchetta is a bacchanalian dish that involves stuffing a whole pig with wild fennel, garlic and spices, and then cooking it on a rotisserie spit. Assuming that you may not be inclines to tackle such a huge project, here's a simpler version that calls for a pork shoulder filled with the authentic flavours.

Pairs well with Dineen Heritage!

Serves: 6 to 8

Prep time: 20 minutes assembly + 2 to 2 ½ hours on the grill or in the oven

Heat: Indirect medium heat 350 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

Special equipment: butcher’s string

Filling:

  • 4 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 sprigs rosemary leaves
  • 16 large sage leaves
  • 1T finely grated lemon rind
  • 1T chopped garlic
  • 1t sea salt
  • ½ t whole fennel seeds
  • ½ t crushed red chili flakes

 

  • 1 boneless pork shoulder, about 5 lbs, butterflied, ends trimmed to produce 8 to 10 oz meat and fat
  • 1 T extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ t sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Method:

  1. Trim off the relatively thin pieces of meat on the ends of the pork shoulder. Also trim the thick sections of the joint to create a fairly even thickness from end to end
  2. Ideally you will have 8 to 10 oz of trimmed meat and fat to mix with delicious herbs, spices, garlic and olive oil to create the porchetta filling. Combine the filling ingredients above in the food processor and process until they form a smooth puree. Add the trimmed meat and fat and pulse for 20 to 25 pulses, until it resembles sausage meat.
  3. Place the meat skin side down, on a work surface. Evenly distribute the filling over the pork, leaving a border round the edges so the filling does not spill out when you roll the meat. Press the filling into any grooves.
  4. Roll up the meat and use several long pieces of butcher’s string to tie the meat both crossways and lengthways in 5 or 6 places. 
  5. Rub the outside of the roast with the oil, salt and pepper, then let it stand at room temperature for 20 to 30 minutes before grilling.
  6. Prepare the barbecue for indirect cooking over a medium heat. Brush the cooking grates clean.
  7. Grill the meat over indirect medium heat for 2 to 2 ½ hours, with the lid closed, until the internal temperature reaches 180 to 185 degrees Fahrenheit.
  8. Transfer the meat to a chopping board, loosely cover with foil and allow to rest for 20 to 30 minutes. Remove the string and carve the meat into thin slices. Serve warm or at room temperature.
    The leftovers make excellent sandwiches!