In Umbria, porchetta is a celebrated dish. It’s a whole pig that is stuffed with wild fennel, garlic, rubbed with salt and roasted, it’s divine, shows up at all celebrations, can be eaten at any time of the day and has made vegetarians turn back into carnivores.
There is no real equivalent to porchetta in the US, but I think a case could be made for Jeffrey’s Pig.
A few weekends ago, Jeffrey, the famed butcher at the Essex St. market gifted me with a hunk of pig that he had seasoned with his special ‘secret’ marinade mix. He wanted me to try the way that he seasoned his pork, and he wouldn’t divulge what he used. We lugged home our hunk of meat and tried to analyze what we were smelling: vinegar, pepper, chili?
Friday night the hunk o’ pig came out of the freezer and into the oven. I’m not exactly sure what cut of meat it was: perhaps a shoulder? It had a thick layer of skin and fat with boneless meat attached and I roasted it until the skin was crunchy and the fat had rendered through the meat.
It was the tenderest, softest, most yielding pig I’ve ever eaten…it was practically spreadable. I humbly bow to Jeffrey and his seasoning…it’s magical. You’ve got to love a good butcher!
And check out Jeffrey's Recession Dinner for a tasty way to forget about our woes.
Jeffreys Meat Market
120 Essex St.
New York, NY