Roast Pork Shoulder with Fennel and Potatoes

Porchetta can be found at weekly markets in the country towns around Foligno: whole roasted young pigs seasoned with fiore di finocchio (Umbrian wild fennel pollen) and sold either sliced and stuffed into panini (small round buns) for a snack or bought by the kilo to take home for lunch. Rather than a whole pig, Salvatore Denaro slow-roasts pork shoulder with similar seasonings (pork belly is equally delicious when roasted for 1 hour at 400 degrees).

 

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  • Servings: 6
KEY: Fall, Winter, Roasting, Dinner Party, Easter, New Year's Eve, Italian, Staff Favorites

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Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup fennel pollen or ground fennel seeds (see Note)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly ground pepper
  • One 6- to 7-pound, bone-in pork shoulder, skin removed and thick layer of fat scored
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 pounds medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup dry white wine

How to make this recipe

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mix the fennel, salt and pepper. Coat the pork all over with the spice mixture and set it in a large roasting pan, fat side up. Pour the olive oil around the pork. Roll the potatoes in the oil to coat and arrange them cut sides down. Roast until the pork is very tender and the potatoes are browned on the bottom, about 3 hours.
  2. Transfer the roasted potatoes to an ovenproof serving bowl. Pour the white wine into the pan around the pork and continue to roast the pork for 1 hour longer, or until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part registers 185°.
  3. Let the pork rest for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, reheat the potatoes in the oven. Carve the pork into thick slices and serve on a platter with the potatoes.

Notes

Wild fennel pollen is available in the U.S. from specialty purveyors such as chefshop.com and zingermans.com.

Suggested Pairing

The intense and tannic Sagrantino grape variety is an ideal match for this juicy, substantial pork roast, since the tannins help cut through fat.

Contributed By Photo © Dana Gallagher Published September 2007

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