Slow Roasted Fennel Porchetta Recipe

The other day the UPS man brought us a treat.

Our good friend Gary, from Northern California has been into wine making with his brother, and he was nice enough to send us a few bottles of their latest creation to sample. So when the  weatherman predicted yet another winter snow storm, I thought it was time to make some slow roasted pork to go with the Cabernet Sauvignon aptly named “Pig Farm”

Porchetta, pronounced  por’ket:a, is a Italian dish, traditionally made by cooking a whole pig, stuffed with herbs and onions over a wood fire.

I decided to  take a more modern day approach to this recipe, opting to stuff a boneless pork shoulder in a very low  oven (275 degrees) for 10 hours, until the Porchetta surrendered into  a state of moist, fall apart tender deliciousness. ( Think Italian barbecue, infused with fresh herbs and a crisp salty crust.)

On a day when we were at home, not going anywhere with a blizzard underway outside, the fragrance of all that slow roasting goodness was aromatherapy; a reminder of what was coming.

This porchetta makes a fantastic entree for a casual winter dinner party. Pork shoulder is an economical cut of meat, and when prepared in this way, it becomes something wonderful without a lot of fuss.  A dinner like this is something that should be shared with friends; which is exactly what we did.

I served the Porchetta with Risotto and Broccholi Rabe,  flavors that worked really well with the pork. We sipped the Ferme de Cochon and enjoyed our cozy rustic supper at home, forgetting about all of the snow we would be shoveling in the morning!

I highly recommend you give this one a try.

Here’s a look at the steps to making Porchetta:

Cook the onions and basil in olive oil, just long enough to let them sweat, about 10 minutes

Rub both sides of the buterflied pork shoulder with the ground fennel spice mixture.

Spread the onion/basil mixture evenly over the pork.

Top with parsley and mint.

Roll it up, tie it with butcher’s twine, pop it in the oven and say “night, night”.

Slow Roasted Fennel Porchetta

Ask your butcher to debone and butterfly the pork shoulder for you to save a step.

1 5-6 pound boneless pork shoulder, butterflied so that you have a rectangle of even thickness

Spice rub:

1.5 ounces fennel seeds, ground

1.25 ounces ground coriander

2 tablespoons sea salt

2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

Mix all spice rub ingredients together in a small bowl.


1/2 cup olive oil

6 cups thinly sliced sweet onions, such as Vidalia (from about 2 large onions)

4 cups fresh basil leaves

1 large bunch parsley, stems trimmed

1 cup fresh mint leaves

Butcher’s twine

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil and add onions and basil, cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until just softened. Cool slightly before continuing.

Meanwhile, spread the spice rub on both sides of buterflied pork shoulder. Spread filling over pork. Top with parsley and mint.

Starting at one short end of the pork shoulder, carefully roll the pork and stuffing into a log, tucking in any filling that escapes. Finish seam side down. Using Butcher’s twine, tie the roast in 2-inch increments to secure roast.

Place some carrots and celery in a roasting pan (acting as a roasting tray) and the porchetta on top of that.

Roast the porchetta in a 275 degree oven for 10 hours. Let rest 10 minutes. Break apart with a couple of forks; the meat will fall apart  before your eyes. Serve with risotto and bitter greens, such as broccholi rabe.

8-10 entree servings

Wondering what to do with any leftover Porchetta?

Stay tuned for my next post: Porchetta Bean Stew


12 thoughts on “Slow Roasted Fennel Porchetta Recipe”

  1. Wow, I will let my brother know the wine has now been mentioned on a prestigious food blog. Glad you enjoyed it and there is plenty waiting for you when you come to California.

    The Porchetta looks great, we will have to try it out.

    Take care,


  2. Oh, we are big fans over here too. Our recent party lasted all weekend (Jan. 23rd). Your porchetta looks fabulous! Look at all that mint! Terrific!

  3. LOVED it! Had to get up early though to start it cooking. It was well worth it. I will make it again. Goes great with the Foxglove Cab.

  4. I tried your recipe for New Year’s Day….got up at 4:30 AM to put it in the oven. My 7 lb. pork shoulder only needed 8 hours of slow cooking…..but so yummy and so flavorful. Reminds me of the porchetta my mother-in-law had to special order from the Italian butcher shop. Thank you. Also…..drank Flora Springs cabernet….yum.

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