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Porchetta recipes, a request.

Recoil Rob

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I still remember the porchetta sandwiches I had in Rome almost 25 years ago, a small shop with 4 tables, small glasses of red wine and paper cones with olives. The entire pg would come out of the oven, each pannini had meat and skin along with some fat, just great food

I've always wanted to try this at home and the time has finally come. I'm going to do it for my girlfriends birthday.

I have done the requisite searches online and come up with mostly variations involving a boned pork shoulder. One looks very good, it comes from Jamie Oliver, at least the photo looks like the real thing.

What I'd really like to do is a small whole pig, just for the presentation value alone. I imagine I could do it with a 18-20lb pig, I have the skills to bone it.

Would love to hear any comments, ideas, warnings, etc. before proceeding.

thanks, Rob

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

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Hey Rob - the whole pig sounds dramatic BUT I have had spectacular success using skin on pork belly wrapped and tied around a center cut boneless pork loin. Butterfly the belly so it will wrap all the way around the loin, season with lemon zest, fennel pollen, fresh italian parsley, sage and thyme, pleanty of S&P, I DON'T use garlic. Tie it skin side out, season with plenty more S&P, slap it on your rotisserie and cook until the skin shatters like glass! I put a small sheet panunder the pork and cook some fingerling potatoes in the drippings from raw. So good people will forget to breath. Takes about 2.5 hours to cook on my rotisserie.....

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Consider deboning the pig and making a forcemeat with the scraps and offal with which to stuff the pig. More of a ballotine but still in the realm of porchetta. Here are three methods of cookery. Tie or sew it up and apply heat in the form of oven, coals or grill.

Pennsylvania raised pig was stuffed with scraps, diced offal, pickled apples, pistachios, dried bing cherries and roasted in an oven. The loins were kept attached. Ears and snout were covered in foil to keep them from burning and the skin was basted with oil and vinegar to get it nice & cripsy.

Still life porchetta, with pickles and punch



Not my Redbull


Porcine Pedaler (beta version). $5 Home Despot amalgamation of cycling, BBQ, Free Market economic theory, Protestant work ethic and the ballad of John Henry.

Meat: 16# suckling pig. Deboned, stuffed with starfruit, cashews and tropical spices (nutmeg, mace, allspice and clove). Basted with fresh coconut water and olive oil. Served with cashew and tamarind satay sauce.

Metal: 52cm hand-polished aluminum Raleigh fixed-gear conversion BBQ spit. 41 x 200± gearing for a 0.4 ratio. 8' chain catching the spoke nipples of a road wheel fixed to a threaded 5/16" spit rod placed on 700c forks. Chrome BMX chainring counter-weight and floating road chainring to give the drunks something to marvel at and a piece of gate to help straiten spit which bent under weight of the creature. A very rustic soup-to-nuts Sunday afternoon build and not OSHA sanctioned. PP 2.0 will have a welded frame to contain the torque and weight of drive-train as well as an integrated container for the heat source.

“Anything worth consuming is worth sweating for; bourgeois electric spits be damned.”

Max Weber, 1907




These traditional porchettas (not mine) were merely stuffed with garlic, fennel seed and rosemary, then grilled.




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So much to say! Baron, it all does look fantastic.

One problem I've had with porchetta around these parts is over-eager chefs using pork that's far too old, resulting in skin that's impossible to bite through, requiring half an hour of chewing to reduce it to chickle, which you can then swallow whole. These little piggies look far more suitable. How big were they prior to stuffing? And how old?

The star fruit porchetta seems more pink than the others. Any particular reason?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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I still dream of an afternoon when we ate porchetta while wondering around a wine festival in Chianti; the local jazz band tuning up on a small stage in the corner of the piazza, while the sun gently set over the vineyards surrounding the village....

if food be the music of love, eat on.

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How big were they prior to stuffing? And how old?

The star fruit porchetta seems more pink than the others. Any particular reason?

The first 2 piglets were Amish raised from Pennsylvania; 15-17lbs and maybe 4-5 weeks old?

The last ones were black footed piglets closer to 20-22lbs from Bev Eggleston at Eco-Friendly Foods.


The top porchetta overcooked in the oven for my liking while I was getting juiced on rum drinks poolside and the color preserving qualities of that particular selrose were not worth a damn. The special starfruit edition had nitrite (.25%) in the forcemeat to maintain a more congenial, rosy color and was very slowly roasted, lowered closer to the coals after an hour once the mechanism was deemed sort of functional. The forcemeat contained 1/3 panade (breadcrumb, puréed liver, fatback and meat) which offered a smoother texture.

The last two were colored much like the first, though without any seasoning other than salt, pepper, garlic and herbs.

Edited by Baron d'Apcher (log)
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  • 2 weeks later...

T minus 7 hours and counting!

Babe will hit the oven at 6pm for 6-7 hours at 250˚ and then teh high heat if needed to crisp the skin.

My butcher, (Peter on Arthur Avenue, for those that get Saveur there's a full page picture of him in this year's Saveur 100) said it weighed about 20 lbs before he boned it out. He left the legs intact so I also took out the leg bones ( and kept the four baby trotters for another adventure). It was then filled out with about 6 more pounds of boneless pork shoulder. I kept the seasonings along the lines of a traditional porchetta, plenty of salt and black pepper plus a mixture of finely chopped garlic, sage, rosemary, fennel seeds and lemon zest.

I have to practice my bondage but I think it will work out. The whole package came out a bit larger than I thought so I will have to cook it in a curve. Already had to hacksaw a grate to fit the bottom of the roasting pan.

First time with a small pig, should I remove the eyes?

The die is cast, will report tomorrow.



Edited by Recoil Rob (log)

My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

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Very lovely Baron, did you use something to keep the pink color intact?

I was very pleased with my first attempt, universally declared delicious by my table. My only minus was the skin, though beautifully colored deep brown, was thin and leathery, certainly not crisp enough to eat. Next time I may try the dusting of baking soda. I did cover the snout and ears with foil and the ears were crisp enough as was the tail.


My problem lies in reconciling my gross habits with my net income.

- Errol Flynn

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 11 months later...

I have what was an 80 pound pig (dead) and now about 50 lb (deboned - back legs cut off to make prosciutto) pig cooking in the brick oven .... It's been in for about 8 hours now and I have no idea if it is done.

How long does it usually take to cook a 50 lb pig??

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I have what was an 80 pound pig (dead) and now about 50 lb (deboned - back legs cut off to make prosciutto) pig cooking in the brick oven .... It's been in for about 8 hours now and I have no idea if it is done.

How long does it usually take to cook a 50 lb pig??

Answer: we took it out 9 hours later --- rather burnt on the top (and we chopped off the head because it was fried - and didn't have much on it anyways since we took off the cheeks before cooking) but the inside is cooked and the taste is perfect!


Edited by kellytree (log)
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