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Spit-Roasted Fresh Ham alla Porchetta


Another Mario Batali winner. Take a fresh ham about 8lbs (shank end). Score it thuroughly. Brine it overnight in fennel seeds, salt, brown sugar, apple cider vinega, and black pepper. Air dry it for 1 hr. Slather it (especially the crevices) with a paste made of lots of garlic, fennel seeds, salt, olive oil. Put it on a spit for several hours. At the end finish it with a glaze of brown sugar, fennel seeds, and apple cider vinegar, reduced over the stove. The skin gets super crispy. This would be a great way to simulate the epic Roli Roti Porchetta sandwich (i.e. some pork, some crispy skin, some greens, and some carmelized onions, on a ciabata roll). Key learnings:

1. Get the shank end. Although I specified shank end to the butcher, he gave me hip end. The dimensions are all wrong so I had to skewer it in the wrong direction, and thus the skin won't get evenly crispified. So make sure despite any butcher skepticism that you get the shank end.

2. I had a 9 lb ham, and it registered fully cooked if not more at 3 hrs. So may need to either cook shorter or dial down the rotisserie heat (I had it on max)

3. The paste recipe as prescribed by batali is too salty, not a showstopper, but maybe cut that by 1/3rd.

4. More root veggies and potatoes in the drip pan.

5. Let the thing rest for a LONG time. I let it rest for 20 minutes on the rotisserie (no heat) just to keep the juices spinning, and then another hour before carving. Lots of juice leaked out and still hot.

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About Me



July 2015