Friday, December 17, 2010

Express Porchetta

Craving porchetta but don't have a 4 lb. pork shoulder and 6 - 24 hrs to cook it?

I've got you covered.
You won't get the crispy skin cracklins, but at least you can hit all the flavor notes and quell your craving in about 30 minutes.
If you've got an hour, make this with a 2-3 lb. pork loin and you'll have enough to feed 4-6 people. But I'll write about that one another time.
This version is for a quick cooking 1lb pork tenderloin.

Sauté 1 small shallot (for a tenderloin) finely chopped, and 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced, in the fat of your choice. Olive oil will be the easiest, but if you have extra time, rendering a little pancetta fat will make your dish that much more delicious. (And keep that pancetta for the filling!)
Throw some chopped fresh rosemary (maybe 1 1/2 tsp) into the pan at the end to soften and become more fragrant, and let that cool.

Once more I butterflied the tenderloin and sprinkled 1 tsp ground sage, smoked salt (for more of that BBQ pit flavor, but regular kosher salt is important on the inside as well as the outside of the tenderloin, if you don't have smoked salt), a little black pepper, and only the lightest pinch of fennel pollen.
If you really like fennel, use more. We're fennel light-weights.
Top that with the cooled garlic/shallot/rosemary/pancetta mixture and tie shut.

Awaiting the sautéed goodness
Season the outside with salt and pepper, and sear in a touch of olive oil on medium high. Once fully browned, place in a preheated 425º oven until pink in the center, about 140º.

It's not cracklins, but it's crusty goodness.
Allow to rest about 10 minutes before slicing into it (but don't forget to remove the kitchen twine!)
While it rests, make some gravy.

Turn your pan drippings into the gravy of your choosing. Along with some chopped shallot and garlic, I used fresh sage and rosemary in mine, chicken stock, lemon, just a pinch of fennel pollen, and a pat of butter to finish it.

I served this up with carrots and a side of sautéed gnocchi instead of potatoes.

While it may not be a traditional proper porchetta, it should hit similar bells and whistles for you, and also be delicious in its own right.
And leftovers are fantastic on a crusty ciabatta for lunch!

1 comment:

Chuck said...

Yumbo! I just cooked a pre-seasoned loin for dinner tonight. This would have been better. Maybe after the New Year...or for the New Year!