This is the third recipe for “Italian Week”. I wanted to pay homage to Italy’s favorite meat: pork. Porchetta is basically an Italian pork roast. But it’s not just any old pork roast. It’s the Madonna of pork roast. It falls apart at the touch of a fork, it’s mouth-watering, with just a hint of spice. Don’t tell my Nonna that I cooked it in the slow cooker. It was the butcher’s idea, and it worked like a charm.
- 4 lb. boneless pork shoulder or pork butt
- 3 T. fennel seeds
- 1 T. paprika, not smoked
- 1 T. salt
- 1 T. cracked pepper
- 5 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 T. dried rosemary, or 2 T. fresh, minced rosemary
- kitchen twine
- 1 yellow onion, in 1/2 inch slices
With a sharp knife, cut through the pork shoulder almost, but not all the way through and open it up like a book to create a large flat rectangle about two inches thick.
Combine all the spices and herbs together in a bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork, front and back. Roll the pork up as tightly as you can and secure it with kitchen twine. If you can, do the spice rub the night before to allow the meat to absorb all that good flavor.
Place the sliced onions in the bottom of the slow cooker and place the porchetta on top of the onions. Cover with the lid and cook on low for 8 hours. The porchetta will be fork tender. Remove it from the slow cooker along with the onions. Reserve the jus that has accumulated in the slow cooker. Let the porchetta rest for about 10-15 minutes before removing the twine and slicing. Serve the porchetta slices with the onions and the jus on the side.