Sorta Porchetta

One of my all-time favorite street foods in San Francisco is Roli Roti’s famous porchetta sandwich, served at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. For those of you not familiar with the perfection that is the porchetta, it's a loin, and possibly other cuts of heavily seasoned pig parts, wrapped inside a pork belly, which is then roasted until the inside is tender, and the outside is crispy and crackling. It’s then sliced and served on a crusty roll with salsa verde.

It’s insanely good, and something I've always wanted to try doing at home. Of course, a real porchetta feeds like 20 people, so I wanted a version that would be better suited for a smaller group. 

I decided to try using a small pork shoulder roast. The plan was to mimic the same flavors, but cook it more like pork loin, instead of the usual fork tender, falling apart state we associate with this cut. Pulled pork was not what I was after here.

It worked wonderfully, although you do need to slice it nice and thin. We’re only cooking this to 145 F. which is not high enough a temperature to break down all that connective tissue. All in all, I thought it was a very successful experiment, especially when you consider how much we scaled this down. 

What it didn’t feature however, was that crispy skin, also known as “the best part.” I wish I’d thought of it before I finished the video, but what I should have done was fried up some diced pancetta (un-smoked Italian bacon) until it was perfectly crispy, and topped the sandwich with that! That would have put this already fine faux-porchetta over the top! I hope you give this a try soon. Enjoy!


Ingredients for 4 very large portions:
2 1/2 pound boneless pork shoulder roast, butterflied open, and slashes made all over the connective tissues
olive oil as needed
1 tbsp kosher salt (2 tsp for inside, and 1 for out)
1 tbsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped sage leaves
2 tbsp chopped rosemary
6 cloves minced garlic
zest from a large orange
2 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
- Stuff, tie, salt, and refrigerate uncovered for 24 hours
- Roast at 450 F. for 15 minutes
- Reduce heat to 250 F. and roast another hour, or until an internal temp of 145 F.

For the vinegar sauce:
1/2 anchovy fillet
1 tsp hot chili flakes or to taste
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley

Bonus How to Butterfly Meat for Rolling Video!