That’s what we have dubbed this roast; the pork roast of immense (awesome) goodness. It is a great dinner party and holiday recipe because it basically cooks itself over 6 hours, leaving you free to do other things, including climbing the walls because the smell of this baby after the first 30 minutes or so will drive you crazy!
I have raved about this dish so often that I have had friends on different continents request the recipe, and they rave about it now too. Not only is it amazingly flavorful, but I have never had it turn out any way but perfectly prepared.
This is actually a recipe that I found online several years ago on Epicurious. Only I changed it just a little. I use more olive oil, less salt, and a little bit more of everything they ask for.
So let’s look at how it’s done!
If it is any indication of how much I love this roast, I have herb pots in my yard with fresh sage and rosemary so that I always have it on hand when I get the urge to make it again. If I could grow fennel seeds I would.
This is basically a boneless Boston butt roast, covered in a savory herb paste, and slow roasted to perfection. So let’s go make the paste.
I have always used a food processor in the past. But I have a new Vitamix blender and I thought I would use it this time. Going forward, I’ll stick to the food processor.
Chop your sage and rosemary before putting it in the food processor so that it blends more evenly. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and fennel seeds. Blend until it makes a thick paste.
Then add the olive oil and white wine.
I adjusted the original recipe for a couple of reasons.
First, it asked for a lot more salt. The first time I made this, I fell in love with the flavor, but it was so salty I could hardly eat it.
Next, I thought that for a 6-lb chunk of meat, it did not seem to be enough paste, AND it did not seem to be wet enough. So I made the tablespoons of measurement into “heaping” tablespoons and I increased both the wine and olive oil somewhat.
I find that making it a “wetter” paste (although you don’t want it to be runny), allows you to coat the roast more thoroughly and evenly.
Before coating the roast with the herb paste, cut several slits into all sides of the roast. Make them about 1 inch long and 1 inch deep. Then stuff each with a bit of the paste before coating the whole roast.
I coat the roast with the paste in a bowl so that the roasting pan doesn’t get all smeared with the paste. You want as much of that ambrosia-like paste to be on the meat as possible, not caramelizing all over the bottom of the pan.
I start by putting the roast fat cap side down in the bowl and pouring all of the paste on that side. Then flip it and keep rubbing the paste until all sides have a coating, with the thickest coating being on the side opposite the fat cap. That is the side that cooks down against the roasting pan bottom, and where you want the bulk of the seasoning to form a crust.
Set the coated roast in the center of a roasting pan without a rack, with the fat cap up.
Use a rubber spatula to salvage as much paste as possible from the bowl where you prepped the roast. Spread the salvaged paste on the fat cap.
Then place it in the center rack of the oven for its 6-hour make-over.
Meanwhile, you have 6 hours to go do whatever you want!
Transfer it to a cutting board and let it set for 15 minutes.
Then slice it nice and thick so there is a coat of bark on each slice.
Featured here with fried polenta and grilled baby asparagus. I will post the recipes for those two items soon. Each alone is a thing to write home about. And the pork is just a flavor blitz.
Sam was home from work tonight. He gave this meal a “10”…and so did Sam’s dad!
Feeling pretty sated right now. And a little guilty. And a lot happy. Sorry. Gotta go. But still kinda happy, sated, and not so guilty because it was REALLY good.
OK, this is good bye.
..the roast was immensely awesome!
- 2 heaping tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage
- 2 heaping tablespoons fresh rosemary
- 10 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon (heaping) fennel seeds
- 1 teaspoon (heaping) sea salt
- 1 tablespoon (heaping) cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons dry white wine
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 (6-pound) boneless pork shoulder Boston roast, ⅛-inch fat cap
- Kitchen string
- Preheat oven to 275° F.
- Blend together sage, rosemary, garlic, fennel seeds, salt, and pepper in a food processor until a tick paste forms.
- With the motor running, add the wine and then the olive oil until everything is combined well.
- Trim excess fat from the fat cap, if necessary, leaving about ⅛ of an inch.
- With a sharp knife, make three small incisions, about 1 inch long and 1 inch deep into each side of the pork.
- Fill each incision with some herb paste.
- Spread remaining her paste over pork, concentrating on the side opposite the fat cap
- Tie the roast with kitchen string at 2-inch intervals.
- Put pork, fat side up, in a roasting pan and roast in the middle of the oven for 6 hours.
- Transfer to cutting board and let stand for 15 minutes.
- Discard string and cut the roast (with an electric knife if you have one) into thick serving slices.