Monday, September 19, 2011

Rotisserie and Porcetta!

Hello Spectators! As promised, I am getting my posts back up to speed. Here is the first of several. I mentioned that I built a rotisserie on a budget. Here's what I did:

I searched and searched on eBay until I found a deal on a rotisserie kit for a gas grill. I ended up getting a Weber kit that retails for $179 for $11 plus shipping!. Then I went to Lowes and bought some 1x4's to make a frame to mount over my existing tabletop grill. It is not perfect, but my total investment is sub-$30. Hard to complain!

Now that I had a rotisserie, I experimented with a few cheap grocery store chickens to get the hang of using it. One came out well, the other burned to hell. I learned that bricks can make good spacers to lift your meat a little higher.

Once I had the basic idea, I HAD to try to make a porchetta. I bought a whole pork loin and a whole pork belly. I cut them each in half and proceeded to make the porchetta. The demise of the other two halves will be forthcoming. For those of you who are unfamiliar, prochetta is a traditional specialty of Northern Italian butchers- a pork loin wrapped in an uncured pork belly and tied into a "roastable" log.

Cooking the porchetta was a little challenging in that I had to monitor the fire constantly. I think that I need to raise the meat and build a bigger fire. (I vaguely remember that heat dissipates with the square of the distance or something like that...) That said, this dish came out very well. It is very mild and very porky.

I went to a local bakery and bought ciabatta rolls to make sandwiches. I sliced the porchetta wafer thin and dressed the sandwiches with mayo, romaine, Roma tomatoes, pickled jalapenos, and jus from the resting tray. This was amazing. The skin was crispy and flavorful. It got a bit rubbery (the skin) as leftovers, but the flavor was still there. Good stuff.

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