- 3 garlic cloves, mashed to a paste
- 1 teaspoon minced rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- One 9-pound fresh bone-in Boston butt or picnic ham, with skin, at room temperature
- 2 pounds cipollini onions, peeled
- 6 thyme sprigs
- Preheat the oven to 325°. In a small bowl, mash the garlic with the rosemary, cayenne, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and 1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.
- Using a sharp paring knife, make 1-inch-deep slits all over the meat. Press as much of the spice paste into the slits as you can and spread the rest all over the skin. Set the pork in a large roasting pan and cover tightly with foil. Roast for 3 hours. Remove the foil and roast for about 1 hour and 45 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the meat registers 165°.
- Meanwhile, in a medium baking dish, toss the onions with the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the thyme sprigs and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until the onions are tender and browned in spots.
- Let the pork rest for 20 minutes. Remove the skin. Slice the meat as thinly as possible and serve with the onions.
The roasted pork and onions can be refrigerated overnight. Serve the pork at room temperature; reheat the onions to serve.
The marbling that keeps this tender, garlicky pork from drying out when it's roasted also makes it pair well with a firmly tannic red wine (the raspy tannins cut through the richness of the meat). Try a Cabernet from Napa Valley.