Hi everyone, I'm back.
News flash: The book proposal is written save for some editing and tweaking by me and some reviewing by David. But it's all there now. Thanks for staying with me through the writing of it. I'm happy to have my attention back here. You guys have been so great, all that cheering me on and bolstering my confidence. I won't forget it.
So for today, I'm going to ease myself back into blogging and post some pics of our new weekend, country, outdoor life, and some friends who came to join us - a bunch of you will recognize Jennie Perillo from In Jennie's Kitchen.
And a recipe for a lovely Porchetta, which is a Boston Butt, stuffed with herbs and roasted over a fire on a spit. This one (You'll see pics of it below on the table) was roasted in the oven because the day was still cool enough and it allowed me to enjoy our friends, and play with the kids, instead of stressing over the meat on the grill at the last minute. I really hate missing out on the good times at a party because I'm sweating it out in the kitchen or over the grill until the very end. The porchetta was perfect for that.
We served it with slaw, a cold white bean salad, grilled veg and Jennie's famous Panzanella. Everything but the meat is vegan, so that works if your best friend and her family are vegans, like mine. A note, if you make the pork, start a day ahead. It needs to sit in the rub overnight. But it's worth it.
That's all for now. Back in a couple days. Great to be with you again.
adapted from Bon Appetite
Bon Appetite suggests using leftover pork for pulled pork sandwiches. Jennie suggests carnitas. Whatever you choose, it'll taste great the next day.
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1 teaspoon dried red pepper, crushed
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
2 generous handfuls of brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons onion powder
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
2 tablespoons kosher salt (course, if you have it)
1 teaspoon black pepper
6 cloves of garlic, slivered thinly
1 6 pound boneless pork shoulder with fat left on it.
A big knob of butter
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chicken broth (or water)
A small handful of freshly chopped parsley
The Day Before
Toast the fennel seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat for a couple minutes, just to warm them up. Crush them up with a pilon, or put them in a ziplock bag and beat them with a knife handle until they are fine, but not powdery. Add the red pepper, thyme, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon and onion powder. Mix together.
Put your pork in a 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Rub the pan and the pork with olive oil, generously sprinkle salt and pepper on the meat, add the garlic and tuck the little slivers into every little corner. Sprinkle on the rub mixture and work it into the meat for a minute or so, making sure it gets all over. Put the meat in the pan, fat side up. Cover loosely with foil, wrap or wax paper and refrigerate over night.
The Next Day
Preheat oven to 450°F. Take meat out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature, about a half hour or so. Roast pork 30 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Roast pork until very tender, about 3 hours 15 minutes longer.
Transfer pork to cutting board and let it rest. In the meantime, put the whole glass pan right on the stove top and turn it up to medium high. Spoon off fat. Add a nice knob of butter - don't be stingy, wine and chicken broth. If you have some left over thyme, add that in there too. Stir and scrape up those brown bits. Let it boil until it reduces a bit. Taste. Salt and pepper, if needed.
Slice the meat, lay it out on a platter, making sure each piece has some nice, juicy fatty bits. Spoon gravy over the top. Garnish with freshly chopped parsley. Serve immediately.