Porchetta & Vibrant Veg
An Easter weekend blessed with half-way reasonable weather, so the pork shoulder joint gets the Italian rub treatment and we enjoy succulent slices, blisteringly good crackling, and this vibrant mix of vegetables writes Sandra Tate…For a 2.5kg joint of pork shoulder I made a rub of 20g sea salt, 15g light brown sugar, 2 heaped tsp fennel seeds, 4 cloves garlic – crushed to pulp, and a good sprig of rosemary, coarsely chopped. I pushed this into the folds and over the meat – not worrying too much about the rind side of the joint. Next get the Kamado Joe ready with charcoal lit and a steady temperature of 140°C established. Place the heat deflector at low level with grill rack at high level over. Wait for temperature to return to 140°C before placing the joint rind side up onto the rack in a shallow roasting tray. Pour a little water around the joint then it’s lid down.
After 3-4 hours of cooking it is time to wrap loosely with foil. Check the liquid and add a little more if needed so that you have a golden brown liquid at the end of cooking to moisten your meat when serving. I cooked my joint for a total of 5 hours and it was tender for slicing but an extra 3-4 hours will get you to an even more tender meat fit to be pulled. The choice is yours! If you like crackling you need the gently cut away the rind in one piece from the cooked joint. Wipe it dry and place on a piece of kitchen foil in a hot oven for 10-12 minutes or until suitably crisp and crunchy.
To serve with the pork I grilled 2 aubergines to black on the hob, allowed them to cool then peeled away the skin and chopped the aubergine flesh. Set aside. Crushed 2 fat cloves of garlic to a pulp with salt and added to a large frying pan with 2 tbsp olive oil, a thinly sliced green chilli and 2 tsp cumin seed over low-medium heat. After 2 minutes I added chopped fresh tomatoes and the chopped aubergine flesh. Cook a further 5 minutes then add torn, tender kale (stalks/stems removed) and cook until it has wilted. Taste and season with salt, pepper and fresh lemon juice. Serve with slices of porchetta in meat juices and crusty bread.