1.08.2010

A Tuscan Feast Featuring Porchetta


Although we had seen our respective parents on Christmas Eve (mine) and Christmas Day (his), we like to invite them over for some alone time, albeit together, now and then. That is to say, Chris and I consider ourselves lucky in the in-law department. We both get along with, dare I say even love, each other's parents, and they in turn, get along with, even love, each other. Which is a rare blessing, in our opinion, one for which we are grateful (and no, we're not just saying this because they are readers).

To show our gratitude in our own special way (the kitchen!), we invite our parents over a few times a year to share a good meal. Last week, the meal was a Tuscan Feast, an inspiring choice since we're in the beginning stages of planning a family trip to Italy. For hors d'oeuvres, we put out crackers with cheese and
chianti-infused salami (available at Trader Joe's). The first course was a bowl of our Tuscan White Bean Soup (blog post and recipe here).
After Chris took a quick trip to the E.R. to take care of a minor immersion-blender accident (be careful with those things!), we moved on to the main event, the "superstar" of the dinner, porchetta. It was our first porchetta, and we followed Anne Burrell's recipe, with a slightly adapted list of ingredients (below), to make porchetta with roasted root vegetables. We butterflied the pork, made a garlic-herb paste to rub into the meat, and rolled it up to roast over the vegetables.
All agreed that the porchetta was incredible - crispy brown skin covering tender meat that was seasoned really well with powerful flavors. My father, notoriously anti-veggie, dove in for seconds of the roasted vegetables. His father, a old-school Irishman, devoured the (Italian-style) roast pork, and (so we're told) was still talking about it for days afterwards. Guess it was a success!

Italian cookies and espresso finished off a meal that was a memorable one, not only for the food, or for what's sure to become a scar on Chris's left hand, but mostly, for the wonderful company.

Our List of Ingredients:

(The Pork)
1 "picnic" shoulder of pork, boneless
1 bunch fresh rosemary, finely chopped (about 3 tablespoons worth)
1 bunch fresh sage, finely chopped (about 4 tablespoons worth)
10 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
olive oil

(The Vegetables)
1 Vidalia onion
10 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 pounds fingerling potatoes, skin left on but cut lengthwise
1 bulb fennel, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 celery root, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 carrots, peeled, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 bottle dry white wine
salt and black pepper to taste
1 bundle fresh thyme
10 bay leaves
2 quarts chicken stock


3 comments:

JK said...

Great story, great pics, great post, and what looks like a great dinner...You can make that for me anytime. ;-)

PS We [heart] Anne Burrel, hu?

Marika Josephson said...

I had a couple of memorable porchetta meals in Italy and even the sound of the word brings back warm, fond memories. Glad it was a success! Cheers.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, THANK YOU...SOUNDS AWESOME...MY GUY SAYS HIS GRAMMA MADE THIS AND HE HAS SUCH FOND MEMORIES OF IT...I LOOKED AND LOOKED AND COULD NOT FIND A RECEIPIE...NOW I AM SO EXCITED TO GET TO COLDER WEATHER, SO I CAN SURPRISE HIM....I LOVE TO SPOIL HIM...THANK YOU SO MUCH...YUMMMMMM