I've been talking about this Thanksgiving porchetta for weeks. About a week and a half ago, I called The Meat Hook and reserved my meat, asking for a 4 lb. pork shoulder butterflied, with skin on. Alex went to pick it up on Tuesday and snapped this photo:
Mario Batali's recipe as a basis but then winged the rest of it.
Today at 3pm I took it out of the fridge to let rest at room temperature for a while. Meat cooks better at room temp because it cooks more evenly. In the meantime, I prepared the stuffing. Sauteed onion and fennel with more rosemary and garlic, lemon rind, and ground pork. I used sage sausage that I took out of the casing. As it cooled I added chopped fennel fronds and then slathered it on the inside of the pork.
I had Alex help me tie it up, then roasted it in a glass baking dish atop halved red onions. One recipe I saw said to put water at the bottom to sort of steam it from underneath so that's what I did.
Two and a half hours later........
Everything turned out exactly as I wanted it. Including the appetizers I made (sundried tomato-walnut pesto palmiers, stuffed mushrooms), I made a total of 9 dishes. OOF! All of it was cooked out of the oven thanks to slowcooker and toaster oven.
The porchetta came out better than I expected, with the skin sinfully crisp and fatty. Nom nom nom nom nom! Some of the meat was still a little pink but as long as it doesn't have that scary "raw" look you're good to go. I tried to go pretty light on the sides since the pork was so rich and fatty and ended up with a lot of different flavors - sweet carrots, bitter broccoli rabe, tart red cabbage.