Cooking

Porchetta Two Ways

A new sandwich shop and cookbook from chef Sara Jenkins
Porchetta

This fall is shaping up to be a good one for Sara Jenkins: First, her excellent new cookbook, Olives & Oranges: Recipes & Flavor Secrets from Italy, Spain, Cyprus & Beyond, hit shelves earlier this month. And, now, she has opened Porchetta, an East Village take-out shop dedicated to the Italian sandwich made from crusty bread and crackly-skinned, slow-roasted pork (recipe below).

The final touches for both came together in the well-used kitchen of Jenkins′s Astoria apartment. With a half-dozen Mediterranean markets nearby, it′s a fitting home base for the chef: Jenkins spent much of her childhood in Tuscany, cooked professionally in Florence and established her reputation on skillfully prepared rustic, Mediterranean-inspired food at New York restaurants like 50 Carmine, Patio, Il Buco and I Coppi.

Like Porchetta, Olives & Oranges captures how Jenkins really likes to cook. Each recipe showcases just a few amazing ingredients, a few major flavors and a feeling of home. Think braised rabbit ragu, brioche bread pudding and, of course, a fragrant, slow-roasted pork shoulder. You may not get anywhere near Spain or Italy this fall, but with recipes like these, you won't need to.

Slow-Roasted Pork Shoulder
Makes 6 servings

20 fresh sage leaves
3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves only
3 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons fennel pollen (available at Whole Foods)
1½ teaspoons medium-coarse sea salt
1½ teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
One 3¾-to-4 pound boneless pork shoulder (skin on, not tied)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup dry white or red wine
1. Heat oven to 250°.
2. Finely chop the sage, thyme, rosemary and garlic together (you can do this by pulsing the herbs in a food processor or chopping them by hand). Place the mixture in a small bowl, add the fennel pollen, salt and pepper, and stir together well.
3. With a sharp knife, score the pork skin in a crosshatch diamond pattern, making ⅛-inch-deep cuts about 1 inch apart. With a paring knife, make about 10 incisions (about ½ inch deep) all over the pork and stuff it with about a third of the herb mixture. Tie the pork into a compact roast with kitchen twine, brush the olive oil over the skin and rub all over with the remaining herb mixture.
4. Set pork skin-side up in a roasting pan. Roast for 2 hours.
5. Pour wine over pork and baste with wine and accumulated juices. Continue roasting, basting once every half hour, until skin is well-browned and meat is spoon tender, 2½ to 3 hours more.
6. Remove the pork from the oven; let the meat rest for 15 minutes, then slice and serve.

Porchetta, 110 E. 7th St.; 212-777-2151 or porchettanyc.com

Recipe excerpted from Olives & Oranges by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox. Copyright 2008 by Sara Jenkins and Mindy Fox. Reprinted with permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Porchetta 110 E. 7th St. New York NY 10009 212-777-2151

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