Chef John's Porchetta


We're going to simplify traditional porchetta by making a smaller, simpler version using pork shoulder. It makes a great sandwich, especially topped with some fried, crispy pancetta.

Prep Time:
20 mins
Cook Time:
1 hr 15 mins
Additional Time:
8 hrs 10 mins
Total Time:
9 hrs 45 mins
6 servings


  • 1 (2 1/2 pound) boneless pork shoulder blade roast

  • olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, divided

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage leaves

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary

  • 1 orange, zested

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly crushed

  • olive oil

Vinegar sauce:

  • ½ anchovy fillet

  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste

  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar

  • ¼ cup chopped Italian parsley


  1. Place pork roast on a work surface. Use a sharp knife to make a lengthwise cut about 1 inch from the edge of the meat, slicing down but not cutting through. Open the meat flat along the cut. Keeping the knife parallel to the cutting board, continue to slice the roast open so you can unroll it into a large, flat piece. (You can also ask your butcher to butterfly the roast for you.) When the meat is unrolled, make small slashes through any connective tissue or extra-thick parts so the roast is as even in thickness as possible.

  2. Drizzle cut surface with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Rub oil into meat and generously season with 2 teaspoons kosher salt, black pepper, sage, rosemary, orange zest, garlic, and crushed fennel seeds. Press seasonings in firmly with your hand, roll up the pork roast, and tie the roast in several places with kitchen twine.

  3. Place the pork roast on a rack, set the rack on a plate, and sprinkle meat with remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Refrigerate the roast uncovered overnight to dry-age.

  4. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Lightly oil a baking dish and place roast into dish. Rub meat with 2 teaspoons olive oil.

  5. Bake in the preheated oven until outside is seared, 15 minutes. Reduce oven heat to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to roast until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 145 degrees F (65 degrees C), about 1 hour more. Loosely cover roast with foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Slice thinly to serve.

  6. Mash anchovy fillet in a small bowl and add red pepper flakes, white wine vinegar, and Italian parsley. Stir to combine. Serve drizzled on pork.

    close up view of Porchetta on a wooden cutting board
    Chef John

Cook's Note:

Make a thin sauce from the pan drippings from the roast by adding a splash of water and stirring to dissolve the browned bits of food in the bottom of the baking dish. Dip crusty ciabatta rolls into the juices before assembling sandwiches.

To make sandwiches, pile thin slices of roast pork onto toasted and dipped ciabatta rolls with arugula and a drizzle of vinegar sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

266 Calories
19g Fat
3g Carbs
20g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 6
Calories 266
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 19g 24%
Saturated Fat 6g 32%
Cholesterol 71mg 24%
Sodium 1032mg 45%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 20g
Vitamin C 7mg 36%
Calcium 54mg 4%
Iron 2mg 11%
Potassium 346mg 7%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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