Christmas 2020 Chez Furrow

chez furrow xmasWine, cooking, and family have kept me sane (or at least as sane as possible) during this pandemic. So this Christmas is going to be about wine, cooking, and (our quarantined) family. (But isn’t every Christmas?)

Porchetta is on the menu. The idea of porchetta sounds great. What’s not to like about a tightly rolled up, skin-on pork belly layered with garlic, fennel, and rosemary and cooked until the skin is cracklin’ crisp? But reality usually doesn’t live up to the idea.

I have made porchetta in the past but have been underwhelmed. It’s tasty but dry. By the time the center of a 10 lb. pork belly reaches 145 degrees in a hot oven, most of the meat is overcooked.

I did eat the dish in Italy, purchased from a street vendor in Umbria. It was also dry and make me ill as well.

The solution to overcooked meat is to cook sous vide. So this year I’m going to undertake sous vide porchetta. But it is an undertaking. 36 hours in an immersion circulator set at 145 degrees, then cleaned, dried, and deep fried to crisp the skin. The only container I have that will hold it is a painter’s bucket from Home Depot.

The wine? My son has a 2012 Brunello from Il Bosco di Grazia he’s dying to open.

The pork belly is ready to go. I will let you know how it turns out.

Happy Holidays to everyone!

12 comments

  1. Party of my routine that kept me sane in 2020 was reading your blog, a daily does of thoughtful writing in a mad world. Thank you for that.
    When I was a child, every autumn my father’s side of the family would get together to make sausage. I remember the bushels of meat hauled into my uncle’s basement, the adults trimming, and the men hand-turning the manual grinder – thankfully I was too young for that. The air was thick with cigarette smoke (it was the 70s) and the smell of grape must from the newly aging wine in the next room. Upstairs, my aunt would take strips of pork skin, wrap and tie them into rolls, and cook them in a tomato sauce for what felt like hours. I don’t remember what we called these in my family’s dialect, but they were one of the culinary highlights of the year.
    I hope your porchetta exceeds your expectations, and I wish you a healthy and happy 2021.
    Greg

  2. I’ve got a brisket I’m being sous vide (vided?;) right now. Im interested to hear how your porchetta turns out! Good luck!

  3. I don’t remember what we called these in my family’s dialect, but they were one of the culinary highlights of the year. I hope your porchetta exceeds your expectations, and I wish you a healthy and happy 2021. I did eat the dish in Italy, purchased from a street vendor in Umbria. It was also dry and make me ill as well.

  4. I was a child, every autumn my father’s side of the family would get together to make sausage. I remember the bushels of meat hauled into my uncle’s basement, the adults trimming, and the men hand-turning the manual grinder – thankfully I was too young for that.monster truckz

  5. I don’t remember what we called these in my family’s dialect, but they were one of the culinary highlights of the year.
    I hope your porchetta exceeds your expectations, and I wish you a healthy and happy 2021.
    Greg

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