If you have ever traveled to Italy, you have probably seen trucks selling sandwiches, or paninis topped with sliced, succulent roasted pork. You couldn’t help but notice the many folks lined up to buy these delicious sandwiches which are created by roasting whole small pigs in special ovens built right into the trucks. These trucks are found at all special celebrations, on market days between the stalls of goods, and on busy weekend afternoons in crowded piazzas. A porchetta sandwich is uniquely delicious, and I never thought I would be able to replicate the flavor at home without roasting my own pig until I came across a method to oven roast a pork butt that has been stuffed with the same ingredients used to flavor the porchetta paninis of Italy.
This recipe creates a pork sandwich very similar in flavor to those tasty paninis, but with much less effort. You can ask your butcher to butterfly the pork roast for you to simplify preparation or you can easily do it yourself at home. I made these sandwiches for an afternoon of football for family members who raved about the delicious flavor and juicy slices of pork. I used crusty ciabatta rolls but any top quality crusty roll would work well for these sandwiches. The pork is so flavorful you really do not need any other embellishment, but we like to top the pork with spicy peppers packed in oil, or a spoonful of fried, sliced onions. I sent leftovers home with my family and they told me that the panini were even better reheated the following day!
Rolled Stuffed Porchetta
Deborah Mele 2011
Yield: Serves 8 - 10
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 5 hrs
Although not the same as the porchetta one finds in Italy, this stuffed pork roast is a very close second.
1 (4 Pound) Pork Butt
1 1/2 Tablespoon Fennel Seeds
6 Cloves Garlic, Peeled
3 Tablespoons Fresh Chopped Rosemary
Salt & Pepper
1/2 Cup Red Wine
12 Ounces Sliced Pancetta
12 Crusty Italian Rolls
Spicy Marinated Peppers
Fried Sliced Onions
Either butterfly the pork yourself, or ask your butcher to do it for you. (The pork roast when open should be a rectangle no more than 1 inch thick.) Place the fennel, garlic, rosemary, salt, pepper, wine, and pancetta in a food processor and pulse until well mixed.
Spread the pancetta mixture evenly over the opened pork butt, and roll the pork up firmly, and tie with kitchen twine in four places to hold the pork together.
Wrap in aluminum foil and place in the refrigerator for 12 hours or up to two days.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Place the pork still wrapped in the foil in a large roasting pan, and bake for 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
Unwrap the pork and turn on the broiler.
Brown the pork evenly and once browned remove from the oven, cover with foil and let rest 15 minutes.
Heat the rolls.
Cut the twine from the roast and cut into slices 1/2 inch thick.
Place a slice of meat on the warm roll and spoon over a little of the pan juices onto the sandwich.
Serve with topping of choice.