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Dining Tip: Oven-Roasted Porchetta

A Chicago chef's way with the classic Italian pork dish

Posted: March 11, 2013

Note: This recipe, by chef Michael Shrader of Urban Union, in Chicago, originally appeared in the October 31, 2012 issue of Wine Spectator.

• 5 pounds pork neck bones
• 2 cups white cooking wine
• 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
• 1 yellow onion, peeled and chopped
• 1 stalk celery, chopped
• 2 bay leaves
• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
• Sea salt
• 1 4-pound organic pork belly
• 1 shallot, finely diced
• 5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 4 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
• 4 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped
• Cracked black Tellicherry peppercorns
• 1 4-pound organic pork loin, boneless
• 1/2 cup virgin olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 425° F. Roast the pork neck bones in a roasting pan until very golden-brown, about 1 hour. Remove and deglaze pan with the wine. Cook down by half, and add to a 5-quart stock pot with the carrot, onion, celery, bay leaves and rosemary. Fill pot with cold water and bring to a boil. Turn down to a moderate simmer, and reduce by two-thirds, about 2 to 3 hours.

2. Strain the jus through a fine-mesh sieve. Season with sea salt and keep hot.

3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butterfly the pork belly and lay it on a flat surface. In a sauté pan over medium heat, lightly brown the shallot and garlic. Once they have cooled, rub over the entire pork belly. Sprinkle thyme and oregano over the belly and season generously with sea salt and cracked black peppercorns. Lay the pork loin in the center of the belly and roll up. Using butcher's twine, tie the loin evenly in 4 spots to hold it together. Rub with 1/4 cup olive oil and season with sea salt and pepper.

4. In a large sauté pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil until very hot. Sear the pork until golden-brown on all sides. Place on a baking sheet with a grate, and roast until an instant-read thermometer reads 140° F when inserted in the center of the loin; start checking after an hour. Set aside and let rest on a warm oventop spot for about 20 minutes.

5. Once ready to serve, slice the loin to desired thickness and serve topped with a couple of ounces of jus and a touch of sea salt. Serves 8.

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