Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Porchetta on a Foggy Beach Day

In celebration of the opening of the Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley - and the arrival of my new issue of Bon Appetit - I set out to make my very first porchetta. I called the Local Butcher Shop, before heading across the bridge, to see if they had skin-on pork belly. Music to my ears - they had two whole pigs in the walk-in and would be happy to supply me with a belly.
Stinson Beach
After securing my beautiful pork belly (which Aaron, one of the proprietors, kindly scored for me - belly skin is tough!) and the loin, I set about making the rub. I toasted the fennel and red pepper flakes and then let that cool. I added the toasted spices to the fresh sage, rosemary and garlic and then, due to my lack of anything resembling a spice blender, I went to work with my makeshift pestle (a wine bottle). 
 When it came time to assemble, I got slightly confused (its says to score the flesh but I always thought one should score the skin so that's what I did) but forged on. Once the belly was ready to go I salted both pieces of pork and then shmeared my spice mixture all over the flesh-side of the belly. I added in one thinly sliced orange and then attempted to wrestle the meat into submission - rolling and wrapping twine (definitely helpful to have an extra set of hands) until it mildly resembled the neat roll pictured in the magazine.
More Stinson

One of my favorite, irresistable, pairings is apples and pork. Luckily, Gravenstein season has just begun so we roughly chopped some apples, potatoes and sweet potatoes to throw in the bottom of the pain and reap the benefits of the drippings of pork fat.
Gravenstein Apples
After letting my piggie sit in the fridge for 24 hours, I took it out, let it warm up and then popped it in the oven as directed - high heat at first, dropping the temp to 300 for the final ~2 hours. When we sat down to eat this labor of love I made a conscious decision not to eat the fat - my resolve waned rapidly and I devoured all the wonderful belly-ness.
For the full recipe from Bon Appetit click here.

For a pork-centric article from the NY Times click here.

1 comment:

  1. I have one word for your next internal-organ cook fest: Haggis.