Brad is amazing at running errands for me. I appreciate this very much. A week or so ago, he was going to Costco, for just a few items, and I asked him to pick up a pork shoulder. He came home, unloaded one box of two, and said, "The rest of the stuff goes in the garage. Where do you want the pork shoulder?" WITHOUT looking at it, I answered, "The freezer in the garage, please."
On Saturday, I decided it would be fun to make the "porchetta" I read about on my friend Janie's blog, Panini Girl.
I guess I was expecting a 3-4 pound pork shoulder. Brad brought in a frozen SLAB of meat that weighed 13.9 pounds! It was a HUGE CHUNK OF PIG!
It took all afternoon Saturday, and overnight to defrost. When I opened the plastic wrap, there were TWO HUGE pork shoulders. I didn't want to refreeze the meat I had just defrosted, so I decided to make TWO different preparations (one in each oven).
For the "Porchetta", I made a herb mixture of the following:
35 fresh sage leaves
8 sprigs of fresh rosemary, chopped
half a bunch of thyme, chopped
3 T. of ground fennel seeds
4 cloves of chopped garlic
2 t. sea salt
2 t. black pepper
Preheat oven to 250. I scored the fatty side of the pork, making diagonal cuts in both directions. Then I slathered the herbs all over the pork, rubbing it in with olive oil. After 2 hours in the oven, (and an amazing aroma in the house), I added about a 1/2 c. of white wine. The pork cooked for a total of 6 1/2 hours at 250. Remember, it was at least 8 pounds. Baste it every 1/2 hour with the pan drippings. It is done, when it is "fork tender" in the center. (about 5 hrs. total for a 4 pound shoulder). As good as a porchetta truck in the house for the Oscars!
For the OTHER chunck of pork, I rubbed it all over with Chinese 5 Spice powder, sea salt and pepper, and again, olive oil. This one began at 425 for 30 minutes to sear the fat. I turned the oven down to 250, and let it cook for 6 hours, then shred it with two forks.YUM!
Half of each cooked pork shoulder is now back in the freezer, and we will be eating the rest a couple of times this week. BOTH were wonderful! With some crusty bread, we really were in "hog heaven" during the Oscars! (groan...)