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Zuni's Mock Porchetta Tips?

  • t

I've got a three pound pork butt stuffed, brined, and tied and ready to go for a dinner tomorrow night. But I want to make sure I don't mess this up!

First of all, what side dishes would go with this? I wanted to make an asparagus soup because otherwise, this doesn't seem like a very spring like meal.

I also have a few other questions pertaining to the actual recipe:

Egullet threads suggest cooking the meat longer and at a lower temperature. What have ppl here found? I want this to be really tender! Am borrowing a friend's digital thermometer to monitor the progress.

What sort of pan should I use? (Large stainless steel skillet or a roasting pan?) I think I might need to buy a new one that's large enough because I want to roast lots of veggies in with the meat as well.

Has any one else done other modifications?

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  1. If you're dying to do asparagus soup, I might suggest a roasted asparagus and leek soup. It'll still have your spring theme, but will have a slightly more robust flavor to stand up to the pork.
    I can post it if you're interested...it's embarrasingly easy and very healthful.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Aaron

      Yes, please post!! Embarrasingly easy makes it even better...

      1. re: GretchenS

        Roasted Asparagus Soup
        2.5 lbs. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
        2 leeks, white and light green parts, cleaned and finely chopped
        2 Tbs. EVOO
        salt and pepper to taste
        2.5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
        1/4 cup sour cream (I use creme fraiche sometimes)
        1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh chives to garnish

        Combine ingredients through salt and pepper, tossing in a heavy roasting pan. Roast in a 425 oven, stirring occasionally, for 30-35 minutes, until leeks are golden and asparagus are tender.
        Blend in batches with stock until very smooth on high speed. Adjust seasonings and serve with a garnish of sour cream and chives.

        1. re: Aaron

          Yum, thanks. This will get made soon with whatever asparagus I can get and then again (often) when my friend's asparagus crop is in, much later this spring. (Boston area.)

          1. re: Aaron

            Drat! Our menu is set. well it will be a perfect quick treat this spring- thanks

            1. re: SarahT

              thanks for the asparagus soup recipe. this is a much easier recipe than what i was looking at!

            2. re: Aaron

              This was good, thanks! I added about 1/2 c. of cream and it was delicious. I think next time I might strain it.

        2. This is a very tasty version--my friends devoured it at a recent dinner. (PHOTO below)

          Funwithfood's Italian Herb-Marinated,
          10 Hour Pork Roast

          1 7 pound boneless pork shoulder roast
          2 tablespoons olive oil
          1/4 cup (scant) fennel seeds -- (ground in spice grinder)
          2 - 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh rosemary -- (ground in spice grinder)
          3 - 4 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
          10 cloves garlic
          1 1/2 tablespoons Kosher salt
          2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
          3 tablespoons capers -- RINSED & pressed dry
          1 1/2 tablespoons minced lemon zest
          2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil
          Under Roasting Rack
          3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
          1 large carrot -- cut in half
          1 large celery rib -- cut in half
          1/2 large onion
          1/2 cup dry white wine

          Heat a large dutch oven over high heat. Add two tablespoons olive oil and sear roast on each side, until well-browned (12-15 minutes total). Place seared roast on a plate to cool (Note: Save juices roast releases along with the fat rendered from the browning.) I also deglaze pan with water if there are yummies left in the pot, then add them to the juices and fat.)

          In a small food processor, add the fennel, rosemary, sage, garlic, salt, pepper, capers, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil; pulse until mixture becomes a paste, scraping the sides as needed. If paste is too thick, add another tablespoon of olive oil. (Can use a mortar and pestle instead of a food processor.) The herb paste can be made one day ahead, covered snugly with plastic wrap and refrigerated.

          Seal one side of a Foodsaver bag (large enough to hold roast); set aside. (Can wrap roast in plastic wrap instead.) Cut seven (2 extra in case one breaks) 20-inch lengths of kitchen twine; set aside.

          Place roast on top of a large piece of foil on the counter and spread some of the paste into the excavated *insides* of the pork butt, making sure to get deep into available crannies, gently separating the muscles. Reform the pork butt into it's natural shape and make two ties (at 2" intervals) tighly across the length of the roast, then three across the width. Spread the remainder of the roast with the paste. Place roast into the prepared bag, vacuum seal, and refrigerate for 2-3 days.

          Let roast sit on the counter for 2 hours before roasting. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. In the bottom of a standard two-piece roasting pan, add the chicken broth, carrot, celery and onion. Cover with the roasting pan top and place the roast atop, fat side up. Roast for 10 hours, or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees in the center. Note: Halfway through cooking, glaze roast with some ot the fat reserved when browning the meat.

          Carefully remove roasting pan from the oven (as not to spill juices); place roast on an oven-proof platter and cover with two sheets of heavy-duty foil, then cover with a bath towel and let roast rest for 30 minutes.

          Meanwhile, to make au jus, remove vegetables from the roasting liquids with a slotted spoon; discard. Heat the oven to 400 degrees and place roasting pan, with pan juices and wine (and any liquids from the browning of the meat), into the oven to deglaze and reduce. Let liquid boil for about 10 minutes, then pour into a heatproof measuring cup. Let the fat come to the surface then spoon off the fat (I save the fat to drizzle over the roast when reheating to make it glisten). Make sure to pour the juices from the resting roast into the boiled liquids; serve pork with the au jus.

          Note: If roast is not crisp enough on the outside, blast it in a 425 degree oven for about 10 minutes before serving. (Make sure to glaze the roast with the reserved pork fat first!)

          NOTES : Really tasty--make sure the outside gets nice and crispy.

          Great for entertaining because it requires very little last minute preparation.

          Reheat chunks of the leftover roast in a 375 degree oven until crispy all over...mmm!

          Image: http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e10...

          4 Replies
          1. re: Funwithfood

            That's a lovely recipe. Unfortunately, I've already prepped my roast Zuni style. It's pretty similar. But I like your really low heat and long hours! I might do similarly with my three pound roast.

            1. re: Funwithfood

              That's a lovely recipe. Unfortunately, I've already prepped my roast Zuni style. It's pretty similar. But I like your really low heat and long hours! I might do similarly with my three pound roast.

              1. re: Funwithfood

                That's a lovely recipe. Unfortunately, I've already prepped my roast Zuni style. It's pretty similar. But I like your really low heat and long hours! I might do similarly with my three pound roast.

                1. re: thejulia

                  The crispy exterior is the best part, so make sure to blast it at the end.

              2. I made the mock porchetta exactly as written, and it was amazing. I felt no need to experiment with cooking temperatures and times. So I say, go for it and don't worry!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Westminstress

                  I agree, loved it as is. The only thing I'll add is that the leftovers were even better cold the next day, in sandwiches.

                2. I don't know the Zuni recipe so I can't make suggestions on it. But in my book sweet potatoes are the perfect thing to serve with pork.

                  1. made this for my 30th bday and served with a big heap of green beans with butter and a splash of balsamic, and potatoes roasted with red peppers and red onions.

                    In italy it is served as a big gorgeous sandwich. So you could do with gorgeous breads and some colourful salads. It's very savoury meat so you need some sweet freshness to contrast.

                    I love porchetta. mm, pork...