Italian Porchetta (Shredded Pork) Sandwich
- Topping Choices:
- 1 (4.5 lb.) pork shoulder, fat slightly trimmed, boned, and butterflied (ask your butcher)
- 4 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 lg. yellow onion, minced
- 2-3 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
- 4 bay leaves, finely crumbled (or 2 tsp. powdered bay leaf)
- 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1-2 tsp. coarse salt (the more the better if you have no health issues)
- 1 tsp. ground cloves, divided
- 1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and minced or pressed, divided
- 2 tbsp. whole fennel seeds, divided
- Sliced pickled hot peppers
- Fried or caramelized onions
- Sliced fontina cheese
- Sliced gruyere cheese
- Giardiniera (pickled vegetable salad)
- Chopped cornichon
1. In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the onion, rosemary, bay leaf, salt, pepper, half of the garlic, half the cloves, and half of the fennel in two tbsp. of the olive oil until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Let cool.
2. While mixture cools, pound your piece of pork into a large, even, 1-inch-thick piece with a meat mallet. The more square the piece, the easier it will be to work with. Place meat on a large piece of plastic wrap.
3. Rub onion mixture into the surface of your pork, working it into the meat a bit.
4. Roll the meat into a tight spiral, tying it closed with kitchen string. If you roll it too loosely, the meat will dry out so do this carefully.
5. In a small bowl, combine the remaining olive oil, cloves, garlic, and fennel with a fork.
6. Rub oil mixture into the outside of the pork, working it gently into the meat. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the fridge about 24 hours.
7. When you're ready to cook, take the pork out of the fridge to allow the meat to come to room temperature.
8. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
9. Unwrap and place your rolled, tied pork into a roasting pan.
10. Cook pork until it's fall-apart tender. This should take 4-5 hours. During the last hour or so of cooking, cover the meat lightly with a tented piece of foil.
11. Remove meat from the oven and let it rest about an hour.
12. Serve on crusty Italian rolls and allow guests to choose their own toppings.