When I was growing up, in a traditional Italian Philadelphia family, nothing outside of pasta held a special place on the Sunday table — except a roast pork. Serving a slow-cooked, oven-roasted pork dinner is a rite of passage for the Italian chef in all of us, and one of the most respected meats you can add to the table.
It gets even better, though — the cuts used for this meal are less expensive than most and require nothing other than patience to offer a delicious dinner.
And every Philly Italian knows nothing tastes better with slow-roasted pork dinner than a dish of broccoli rabe and a side salad of greens, cucumber, and red onion covered in a simple Italian red wine vinaigrette. To offer any one of these recipes without the other two would be an Italian sacrilege.
Below, you will find all three recipes. I hope you enjoy both the making and the eating of these dishes. This pork dinner has been a family tradition in my life for over fifty years — and this is my gift from my family to yours.
Italian Sunday Roast Pork Dinner
Serving a slow-cooked, oven-roasted pork dinner is a rite of passage for the Italian chef in all of us, and one of the most respected meats you can add to the table.
- 1 large onion quartered
- 5 cloves garlic
- 4-5 pound pork butt or shoulder
- 2 tablespoon pink Himalayan sea salt
- 1 teaspoon organic ground garlic
- 1 tablespoon organic black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon organic cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 2 bay leaves
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mix all spices together in a bowl and set aside.
Peel garlic and then make slits in pork. Place garlic inside slits.
Quarter the onion and, with toothpicks, insert on top of the pork
Sprinkle the pork with the above mixture using your fingers to rub it in.
Place pork in a roasting pan and cook for 5 hours.
Once done, use a fork to pull apart, enjoying the crusty outside and finger fork cooked inside.
- 2 Tbsp ghee
- 1 bunch broccoli rabe
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- Sprinkle pink Himalayan salt
Fill saucepan with water and bring to a boil.
Cut the ends of the of the broccoli rabe and blanch into the hot water.
Immediately after, run under cold water.
Melt ghee in bottom of saucepan.
Add back broccoli rabe along with garlic and salt.
Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes and done.
Cucumber and Red Onion Salad
- 1 medium red onion
- 1 cucumber
- 2 heads organic butter-leaf lettuce
- 1 tablespoon organic dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon organic dried garlic
- 1/2 cup organic olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Pink Himalayan salt to taste
- Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Slice onion and cucumber very thin.
Clean and tear lettuce into medium to large size pieces.
Mix remaining ingredients and toss.