To begin with, this is a mega roast that will easily serve about 10 guests comfortably, maybe even more! What’s unique about this type of roast in particular is that unlike most pork roasts, it’s cooked with the skin on. This is where the crackling comes in! Crackling is pork skin that has been cooked long enough that it renders its fat and becomes crispy and crackly! This is bound to impress anyone around your holiday table and it’s relatively easy to do. The only tricky part is rolling it up around the stuffing and tying it, so if you’ve never done anything like it before, you may want to have an extra set of hands with you in the kitchen.
You’re going to need a 7 kg (15.5 lbs) whole pork shoulder with the skin on. Have your butcher remove the bone and reserve it to make a broth for soup after the holidays. Simply freeze it when you get home. Be sure to tell your butcher that you’ll be stuffing and rolling the shoulder, this will give them a good idea of how you’ll need it.
In the image above is the whole pork shoulder with the bone still in. For the stuffing you’ll need sausages (of your choice), lamb’s liver (optional but delicious), red onion, garlic, parsley, sage, raisins, cashews, white wine and bread crumbs. You’ll also need a good quality kitchen twine (available at your butcher or supermarket) to tie up the shoulder once it’s been stuffed. The carrots are the side dish that can either be cooked with the roast in the same pan or sautéed in a pan in butter with fresh mint!
Prepare your stuffing ahead of time (about a day) to allow it to cool completely and to allow you more time the day you’re going to roast the shoulder. It’s a long, slow cooking process so you don’t want to rush it the day of. The stuffing can be prepared a day ahead of schedule and kept in the fridge, no problem! Click on the image to view the whole recipe now.
The first thing that you’re going to want to do is assess the shoulder for rolling it up around the stuffing and then tying it off. The bone that was removed by the butcher will allow only for a small amount of stuffing to be rolled up so go ahead and from one side, remove any extra pork. This will give you more room in which you can place the stuffing.
Next, with the cooled stuffing, form a log of about 8 centimetres (about 3 inches) in diameter and just short of the length of the shoulder so you can fold the sides in and tie it with the twine.
Roll up the shoulder around the stuffing and tie it with enough string so that the roast stays intact and the stuffing can’t escape. Add a cup or two of dry white wine to the bottom of the pan, enough to cover the pan and bathe the bottom of the roast. Roast the shoulder in the bottom position of a pre-heated Fornetto at 180C (350F) for 5 hours without opening the oven door or basting the roast. Be sure to monitor the heat and keep the temperature constant inside the cooking chamber. While it cooks, it will shrink slightly and will create a lot of juice in the bottom of the pan.
Here’s where you’ll want all that juice and drippings from the bottom of the pan. Don’t through them out whatever you do! Prepare a roux of butter and flour on the stove and slowly add in the strained liquid from the pan. The gravy is absolutely delicious!
When you remove the roast from the oven, allow it to sit uncovered for about 10 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the roast. When you’re ready, untie the twine carefully and serve the roast whole at the table in the dish it was cooked in.
Here comes the exciting part! To really impress your guests, remove the crackling from the roast in front of them in as few pieces as possible, aim for one large piece from either side and set both pieces on another plate. Using the handle of the carving knife, crack it into smaller pieces that your guests can enjoy. Watch as their mouths water in anticipation! (Notice that almost all the fat has rendered from it leaving you with really crispy and crackly skin.)
Serve the roast shoulder sliced at about a 1 centimetre (roughly a half an inch) thickness with a generous helping of the stuffing and gravy, the crackling and minted carrots. Click on the image to view the recipe!
A side note:
Normally, I would have used the Fornetto roasting dish for this, not only because it really does a great job of delivering even heat throughout any roast but the Fornetto line of cookware are super easy to clean; even hard and baked on food. That being said however, this roast was gigantic, 45 centimetres long (18 inches) so I had to use an alternative. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out the cookware by clicking on the image below. They’d make a great gift for anyone with or without a Fornetto!
Click on the image to view the whole line of Fornetto cookware!
You’re in for a treat. Enjoy!