Porchetta (por-KET-tuh) is an entire pig that has been boned, stuffed and slowly roasted. The skin is very crisp, the garlicky stuffing is very flavorful, a mixture of fennel seed, garlic, lemon zest, rosemary, sage and other seasonings.
And the meat…ah, the meat! If you dream of great pork, it’s the stuff dreams are made of. After the first bite, you’ll be dreaming of it for the rest of your life.
Italians have been enjoying porchetta for some time; mentions in Roman records date back to 400 B.C.E.
It was frequently served at Roman banquets and was a favorite of Emperor Nero (37-68 C.E.). Today, the Italian Agricultural Ministry lists porchetta as a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale, one of the nation’s culturally significant foods.
Porchetta is pure pork paradise. The products from Porchetta Primata, a Kentucky-based company, are the best pork we’ve ever tasted.
We discovered the company at a major food trade show. Among some 1,300 exhibitors and 80,000 products, it was the best thing we tasted from 1000 or more nibbles.
Even better, the porchetta arrives ready to heat and eat. It can be eaten at room temperature or cold, but the excellent fat tastes better warm.
With crisp skin, moist meat and garlicky seasoning, porchetta is a feast (photo by Foodlovers | Fotolia).
The meat needs no sauce, but serve it with roasted potatoes and seasonal greens. Broccoli rabe, spinach or Swiss chard, blanched and then sautéed with olive oil and garlic, are good choices. Pour a nice Chianti, a Côtes du Rhône, Pinot Noir or a hearty ale.
A Roman recipe, Italian immigrants brought porchetta to the United States in the early 20th century.
Today you can find imports, but they’re not as good as Porchetta Primata, which began manufacturing the product here in the U.S. in 2008.
The Tronchetto Di Porchetta is made of all-natural loin, tenderloin, rib plate and belly, hand-rubbed with seasonings. The meat is then rolled, sewn together and the exterior roped.
Next, the pork is roasted for hours at temperatures in excess of 500°F. This gives the skin a golden crackling, while the inside meat remains moist.
The pigs are a combination of Yorkshire and Duroc breeds, and Porchetta Primata controls small micro-farms that grow the grain to create the feed for the animals.
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