Luciana's Porchetta Recipe on Food52 (2024)

Serves a Crowd

by: Aliwaks



4 Ratings

  • Prep time 12 hours
  • Cook time 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8

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Author Notes

I may have mentioned Luciana, the chef I work with, I watch her very closely, her porchetta is fabulous, this is my twist or my interpretation of her recipe, since I have absolutely no idea what really goes in her recipe. This is rather sublime with lovely rich sustainable heirloom pork, but equally wonderful with pork from the butcher, butcher not supermarket plastic wrap, though I've gone that route as well. This is definitely one of the those get to know your butcher times ( though I think you should always get to know your butcher, they are a world of knowledge, and often super nice, and flirty in a good way). I go to Cannuli's pork store in Philly's Italian Market and get a butterflied pork shoulder, with a piece of skin. The skin is important. - Aliwaks —Aliwaks

Test Kitchen Notes

We think porchetta should become a staple in everyone’s kitchen. It’s inexpensive, requires little but marinating and oven time and produces a roast that’s robustly flavored and goes with most anything. Aliwaks’s version is brilliant: she has you toast the spices, and combines them with fresh rosemary, garlic and orange zest. By the time the roast emerges from the oven, your entire neighborhood smells like an Italian trattoria. The first time around, make the porchetta with ½ tablespoon red pepper flakes and if that doesn’t do it for you, then feel free to increase it to a full tablespoon. And if you can’t find pork skin, just substitute 9 thin slices of pancetta and lay them over the top of the rolled shoulder (which protects the roast from drying out and makes for delicious crisp pancetta chips to serve with the porchetta.) - A&M —The Editors

  • Test Kitchen-Approved
  • Your Best Roasted Pork Shoulder Contest Winner

What You'll Need

  • 6 poundsbutterflied pork shoulder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoonscoarse salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoonsblack peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoonfennel seed
  • 1 tablespooncoriander
  • 1 tablespoonred pepper flakes
  • 5 garlic cloves, mashed up
  • 1 tablespoonchopped rosemary
  • 1 tablespoonfinely grated orange zest
  • 3 tablespoonsolive oil
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 piece pork skin, large enough to cover the shoulder, like a pashmina, or 9 thin slices pancetta
  • 1/2 cupgood red wine vinegar
  1. Toast spices and salt in small heavy bottom pan till fragrant, and crush in mortar and pestle or mini chop. It should be rather coarse, not a powder. I am not ashamed to admit I use a magic bullet blender that I bought on TV; it grinds beautifully and makes smoothies.
  2. Mix spices with chopped rosemary, orange zest and mashed up garlic, add olive oil till it makes a paste
  3. Slather the pork in the spice mix, and place in a baggie with the bay leaves over night or up to 3 days; remember to smoosh it around when you are in the fridge
  4. Preheat oven to 325°F; bring pork to room temperature.
  5. Take pork out of baggie, turn baggie inside out and rub all the spice paste over the inside of the pork skin
  6. Roll pork into a cylindrical shape, tie with butcher twine at 1" intervals, stick the bay leaves under the middle strings, and lay skin over top (if using pancetta, lay the slices across the top like fish scales).
  7. Place in a roasting pan with a rack, and roast until the internal temperature reaches 150. remove and let sit until goes to @ 160. Depending on your oven you may need to rotate it every so often. It should take 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
  8. Remove skin, scrape off the fat (if you want) and cut into strips with a sharp set of shears (say that 4 times fast), to serve. (The pancetta will crisp, so simply break it into small pieces for serving alongside the porchetta.)
  9. Deglaze pan with vinegar. Don't reduce too much -- just enough to get rid of some off the sharpness (this is more like a porky vinaigrette).
  10. To serve slice into 1/4" slices, add a strip of skin (or pancetta) to each plate (or pile atop if serving en masse on a platter) and drizzle with sauce.
  11. Serve with garlicky bitter greens and roasted or mashed potatoes, or escarole & white beans. The next day make Philly Style Roast Pork Sandwiches by piling warm pork & greens on a crusty seeded long roll with thin slices of sharp aged provolone.


  • Italian
  • Pork
  • Vinegar
  • Serves a Crowd
  • Slow Cooker
  • Entree
Contest Entries
  • Your Best Roasted Pork Shoulder

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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75 Reviews

Johnny December 12, 2022

Reading the recipe woke my imagination & could smell the roast baking. My interpretation is to add apple cider vinegar to the herb mixture & liberally sprinkle oregano. I grow, dry & mince my own, nothing like it at the grocer. 💕 Love the recipe, thank you.

gingerroot November 5, 2014

I made this for a Friday evening soirée a few months back and it was fabulous. I roasted the porchetta the night before and then warmed it in the oven about 30 minutes before guests began to arrive. I just happened to have a gallon ziplock bag full of pork skin from a local pork CSA in my freezer, so draped that over the shoulder as it roasted. Next time I will try pancetta. Served it with sauce gribiche, ciabatta rolls, arugula and orange and fennel mostarda, among other things. I can't wait to make it again!

fearlessem December 22, 2013

Made this on Friday and loved the flavors! But I did wish it was less roast-like and more pulled-pork like... Would just cooking it for longer have gotten me to that falling-apart stage?

Lamberto R. December 22, 2013

It should not be like pulled pork. This is traditionally made to be sliced for a sandwich, so it should hold together. Really, this recipe is not really good for good porchetta. One should use the loin wrapped with belly fat, not a shoulder. There are better recipes on the same post...

fearlessem December 22, 2013

Yes, I understand that traditional porchetta is a sliceable roast. I was saying that I enjoyed the flavors of this recipe, and wondered if simply cooking it longer would yield the texture I personally was looking for..

Andi C. June 27, 2013

Can you put this on the grill - either in a pan or directly on the grill with a small pan of wine or other liquid to keep it moist?

Aliwaks June 27, 2013

You know I was just wondering the same thing the other day....and I don't see why not... Traditionally I believe they are cooked over open flame on a spit...sadly I have no spit My only issue with the grill is that it would take lots of fuel to keep it cooking so long.

1)Grill off heat like you said with a pan of water...I'd through some rosemary in with the fire
2)Put it in the smoker with rosemary branches & grape vines....for a twist
3) Butterfly it coat with spices...let marinate over night and just grill it like you would a pork chop... might lose some unctousness but it will pick up the grill flavor

Andi C. June 27, 2013

Thanks so much. I have a gas grill with a direct hook up so the amount of fuel is not a big concern. I was considering putting some wine with rosemary in a pan, perhaps even throwing in some wood chips. I will marinate over night and then roll the entire things. I'll let you know if it works or is a oomplete disaster. Appreciate the insight!

pierino June 27, 2013

I can't comment on this particular recipe but when I cook a porchetta I use a whole pork shoulder and I do cook it directly on the grill. If there is enough fat and skin on top you won't need any additional moistening agent. Season should only be rosemary, fennel, salt and pepper. If you order it off a truck in Italy they will have most of a pig spitted in the back. They just slice off a hunk and slap it on a roll. That's all.

gnathanson December 24, 2012

Bought my Christmas shoulder from Giunta's at the Terminal yesterday, did some home butterflying to remove the bone (for stock... pork stock, is that a thing?) and have it marinating right now. Can't wait! Thanks for sharing this recipe, though the anticipation is killing me :)

dick June 9, 2013

I have cut the bone out, marinated the pork shoulder then tied the bone inside the pork for more flavor. Also, stuffing the pork with Collard greens or Kale is pretty good too!

Robb S. September 30, 2012

Definitely the lesser time range. Mine was done way before the time specified here. I thought I'd done something wrong, so I'm glad to hear it's a typo.

dick June 9, 2013

Could be the temperature you put the meat in the stove at.

tbrooks September 30, 2012

Help, the on-line recipe says it takes 3-3.5 hours but the book say 1.5-2.5 hours. I'm cooking this for dinner tonight at 5, what time is correct??

tbrooks September 30, 2012

Help, the on-line recipe says it takes 3-3.5 hours but the book say 1.5-2.5 hours. I'm cooking this for dinner tonight at 5, what time is correct??

dick June 9, 2013

what book? For a pork picnic, which is what is normally used, 6 to 8 lbs it will take 3 hours. However if it is smaller or a younger pig it may take less. Not 1 1/2 hrs though!

Jytte T. June 21, 2012

Could this be made in a slow cooker or pressure cooker? If so, what would the temp and time be?

Aliwaks June 21, 2012

Anyone know this??

I don't use slow cooker often, and I will admit I'm pretty random about it, my slow cooker has three settings, high, low and off so i tend to just stick stuff in there and hope for the best... more often than not I use it as a heated dish rather than for cooking.

I am pretty sure it will end up wetter than desired and I know the skin/pancetta will not be crispy. If you do decide to experiment, I suggest searing it on all sides first, then if you use the skin, it will add flavor but unless you deep fry a few chunks (not that that is a bad thing) it will end up sort of woobly and gelatinous, not the most appetizing morsel and if you use pancetta it may just melt in without crisping, though you can crisp some up separately.

hope that helps.

dick June 9, 2013

NOPE!The pork skin will not turn out crispy! That's the best part too!

lylebama June 20, 2012

I made this tonight and thought it was fabulous. Mine, too, cooked in less time than suggested. Do you think this would work with a leaner cut , like loin or tenderloin? I have some friends who would find the fat a little off-putting.n thanks for sharing this recipe

Aliwaks June 21, 2012

You could definitely season a pork loin similarly, though it will lack the unctousness that a shoulder has.

I used a Turkey Breast in place of Pork Shoulder when we had a Food52 book signing the Jewish Deli I was working for.

A lower fat option and really very good. Just get a whole boneless turkey breast w skin, butterfly, season & tie works great...with lots of good leftovers for sandwiches.

Tiffany M. June 11, 2012

I made this for a dinner party with some friends 2 days ago and it was perfect. The orange zest made such a difference. I served it with Hawaiian dinner rolls, caramelized onions and grilled pineapple for a tropical twist the first night, then, the second night I served it with some cheesy risotto. You can do so much with this recipe. Thanks!

Lilismom April 18, 2012

It's in the oven now. I couldn't find pork skin so am using the pancetta. The house smells sooooo good!

DAVILCHICK April 9, 2012

My husband made this last night and it's RIDICULOUSLY delicious. Accompanied by roasted potatoes and the Suspiciously Delicious Cabbage dish. Seriously, it doesn't get any better than this.

rrcooks March 29, 2012

I made this for a large supper with friends and it was a huge hit. I bought a pork shoulder and asked the guy at the meat counter to butterfly it for me - we ended up having a great conversation about meat! I used the piece of pork skin to cover it which worked well (my husband ate most of it!). Will definitely make this again.

AnnP January 17, 2012

I made this tonight after marinating it for 3 days - it called my name from the garage fridge every time I passed by. This recipe is amazing! The flavor combo is perfect and all throughout dinner, my husband and son were enthisiastically planning their left over sandwiches. I served it with simple pan roasted new potatoes and wilted spinach with garlic, pine nuts and raisins. Thank you for sharing!

sidthecat December 28, 2011

I made this for eight on Christmas Eve - I added rather more pancetta than the recipe called for, because there's always room for more bacon.

My sister-in-law insisted that we take it out of the oven at 140 degrees instead of 160 and I'd have to say she was right - it would have dried out at the higher temperature. Unfortunately, it threw off the timing of the meal and I ended up setting fire to the kitchen. That said, it was still a great dish.

dick June 9, 2013

I suggest 150º, not 140º. Did you let it sit for a half hour before you cut into it?

Monica C. December 8, 2011

I had Porchetta in Rome last Christmas. I am going to make it for my family in Colorado for this Christmas but I will use strips of thick cut pork belly and basket weave it over the port shoulder. I can not wait!

msgruvn April 18, 2012


Robb S. November 10, 2011

I cooked two of these for our annual summer BBQ and served thick slices on either soft or crusty rolls, accompanied by caramelized onions (I skipped the porky vinaigrette). It received rave reviews and more than one guest made the point that having 'raised the bar', there was no way I would be allowed to get away with cooking hot dogs and hamburgers ever again! Thanks for sharing a terrific recipe.

PS: As other commentators have observed, my porchette were cooked in less time than specified.

Mexico*karen October 23, 2011

I have this wonderful porchetta in the oven as I write this. I'll be taking it to a birthday dinner later, along with a casserole of garlicky mashed potatoes and spinach. It smells just splendid. It is my "go to" dinner for guests.

Luciana's Porchetta Recipe on Food52 (2024)


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