Friday, April 16, 2010

Porchetta

So I've been meaning to get a porchetta on the go and word on the street was that Tom Mylan of the Meat Hook in Brooklyn was the man to talk to. I've talked to Tom some time ago when his shop was very new to Brooklyn and at that point it was moving along quite nicely. He tells me, as of our last chat, that things are great. The clientele are very supportive and willing to try his teams offerings. And oh yeah, they won't make turduckens! The movement has begun. (Again, more on the turducken later).

Tom's had some great opportunity for experimentation with porchetta. He's done them in all sizes; 150-200 lb whole pigs, suckling pigs and with a brined loin wrapped inside a belly. Different variations and different sizes all contribute to different outcomes every time.

We're going to give it a try with the boston butt (shoulder), add a white wine and herb marinade and see what the reaction is.
With all the press porchetta's been getting as of late, the results should be encouraging. Hopefully.

In the meantime, or until I can post the agreed upon recipe, I'll give you Tom's recipe for a suckling pig porchetta;

You need to have your butcher remove all the inside cavity bones from the suckling pig. Or get yourself a copy of MEAT by Thomas Schneller of the CIA and have a go for yourself.
The ribs, spine, femur and arm bones of the pig need to be removed completely, leaving the head and feet intact.
Mylan now rubs the cavity with salt, pepper, olive oil, toasted fennel seeds or fennel pollen, and any number of fresh herbs. He then applies a layer of fresh sausage meat, making sure to spread it evenly throughout the cavity.
Next Mylan has had 2 pork tenderloins in a salt brine and are now ready to be placed in the cavity.
After all the fixin's have made their way in, he scores the outer skin with a box cutter to ensure a clean, even score in order to produce a blistery delicious cracklin when the porchetta has done it's biz on the spit.
Tying the opened carcass from top to bottom tightly so that none of the hard work doesn't get out is imperative.
Next he simply roasts it one of two ways; over an open fire reduced to hot coals or in the oven 'low and slow'.
You're looking for an internal temperature of 150 F/66 C.
Take it out, let it rest, then carve it up for your ravenous participants.

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