Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Test recipes: porchetta and coffee cake

Made a couple test recipes over the last few weeks - Porchetta (an Italian street food according to the recipe notes) and a Coffee Cake.

The porchetta required a 6-pound pork butt roast (can someone explain the reasoning behind naming a roast a "butt" when it's from the shoulder of the pig?) and lots fresh seasonings. Basically you make a rub of garlic, thyme, and rosemary then smear it all over the roast. Let rest, roast low and slow, then enjoy the wonderful flavor and texture.

My local grocery did not have a trimmed butt roast with the required fat cap so I bought the full shoulder roast and cut it down myself. I started with over 9 pounds of meat, cut out the portion with the bone, then trimmed the rest into two 3-pound roasts. The the portion with the bone I froze with plans to cook it down into pulled pork sometime later.

Huge butt roast before trimming
 Fresh rosemary and thyme. The kitchen smelled amazing.
I love fresh herbs
Garlic, herbs, and spices processed into a rub.
The fennel gave it such a rich aroma
After resting for 24 hours, roasting for 3 hours, and resting again for 20 minutes.

So much flavor!
They came out incredible. And the aroma as they cooked? Holy cow (pig?) - it kept wafting out the open windows and stopping us in our tracks. They were right: perfect street food. No way you'd be able to walk past this food stall!

Oh, and the coffee cake? No pictures, but it came out very good.  Not sure if they'll ultimately tweak that one a bit more as it wasn't quite as moist as I suspect they wanted. Since I actually think coffee cake should be dry when compared to dessert cake, I thought it was perfect, but I might be in the minority there. I'm always curious what the other recipe testers think and I wish there was a way to find out. Hmmm, have to look into that. 

Not sure when either recipe will appear in the magazines, but they're real winners. I'll let you know when I see them.

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