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cannyfradock 11-09-2009 01:59 PM

How to cook this......?
3 Attachment(s)
O.K....So I've just built this....and just made this (porchetta di testa) How long do you think it will take to cook in my wood-oven?

texassourdough 11-09-2009 02:10 PM

Re: How to cook this......?
Depends on the oven temperature. You can typically go at least 25 to 50 degrees F hotter in a WFO than a conventional oven sooo.... fire the oven for about an hour and a half to two hours to heat charge it good and let it cool down to about 50 degrees F warmer than your recipe and cook it about as long as they say in the recipe. It may take a bit longer for something that big will cool the oven a bit.

Good luck!

cannyfradock 11-09-2009 02:21 PM

Re: How to cook this......?

I did'nt think anybody would know what a Porchetta di Testa was on this forum. It seems only the Italians or Americans have come across this dish before, certainly not the gentle folk of blighty. It took 6 weeks of research before I even attempted to bone and roll a pig's head.

Nice feedback....Many thanks Jay

Regards Terry (C.F)

texassourdough 11-09-2009 02:51 PM

Re: How to cook this......?
Be prepared to put aluminum foil over it if it gets too burned but...that's normal operating procedure on that kind of stuff anyway.

I recognized the name Porcheta di Testa when I saw the picture but I have never had or done it. Of course, the time will also depend on how big it is.

An awful lot of us cook in the WFO by simply putting something in at 300 to 350 and taking out six hours later. Works really well for pot roasts, braises, and covered stuff. Roasting is a bit more complicated since it can dry out but the oven will do a pretty good job of keeping the steam in (assuming a good door).

Ahhh, I just checked online for recipes. It seems they want to cook it at 200 or so F for 14 hours sealed in a bag or in a covered container. Cool... This gets a bit awkward for if you fire just for it, you will waste a lot of oven heat!!! But it is really dangerous to only lightly heat soak the oven for then it will cool too fast and you can't know how fast it will cool! ARRGGHHHH!

Best deal is do pizza which will get the oven hot. Then next day the oven should be down in the 300 to 350 range. I would leave the door open say 20 minutes and then close it for 20 and see what the temp rebounds too. I would put it in at about 250 to 260 and let it coast down forever... (okay 14 hours) or overnight or whatever.

Should work. The large mass will pull the heat down in the oven to near boiling pretty easily and it will probably just sit there at a near boil most of the time. I would use a lidded braising pot/dutch oven of some kind for boiling in it would not be the problem it would be in a sealed bag that might explode.

Good Luck!

nissanneill 11-10-2009 02:54 AM

Re: How to cook this......?
Hey guys, I'm starting to salivate just thinking about it!!

please post some, or at least one picture posted, before you all ravish and devour it.
It looks from your picture of the oven that you don't appear to have a recess for a door to seal up against, so you will need to make a tight fitting door behind your chimney to hold the heat in during you bake.


ThisOldGarageNJ 11-10-2009 04:05 AM

Re: How to cook this......?
Hey Canny,
Looks great,, Did you actually bone the pig yourself ? How much did the pig weigh ? and lets see some after pics....


cannyfradock 11-10-2009 08:44 AM

Re: How to cook this......?
5 Attachment(s)
Thank-you guys for your interest in my Porchetta di Testa. I finished this little project about 2 weeks ago and it was cooked in the trad. fashion....i.e. marinated for 2 days, then cooked in a vacuum sealed bag (in my case wrapped tightly in clingfilm) for 14 hours at 93 degrees, then chilled and left to set for 2 days before carving. I thought about roasting it but was advised against it by "sausagemaking". (part of my 6 week research). Although a very serious project for me. I posted it on the "humor" thread as I thought it may interest some of the forum members, although the comments from Texassourdough are food for thought. Here is some of the pictures from that project. idea for the door is to build a more refined arch in front of the integral arch, leaving enough gap inbetween for sliding plate doors?...

T.O.G Only bought the pigs head (cost 3.50p) and weighed about 4lb after boning.

Terry (C.F)

p.s More pics in following post

cannyfradock 11-10-2009 08:49 AM

Re: How to cook this......?
5 Attachment(s)
Have many more pics of this project, but these should give you a good idea of Porchetta di Testa

Regards Terry (C.F)

texassourdough 11-10-2009 08:58 AM

Re: How to cook this......?
That is spectacular, Terry!


It looks like you could have a future as a butcher (and a baker, now if you can only learn to do candlesticks!)

I may have to try that! (I do boneless whole chickens periodically so I am at least a bit familiar with the idea of pealing the flesh off of bones).

Your whole process looks very professional. The tieing is perfect! Only problem seems to be that the pig almost got the best of you at one point but it appears you recovered from the apple incident and finished him off!

cannyfradock 11-10-2009 10:20 AM

Re: How to cook this......?

You should have seen the derogatry remarks made by my own family after seeing the pic of the pigs head alongside mine!!!!

Butchery was the first job I took after leaving school. After about 4 years I drifted into the building industry, but remember a lot of what I learned in that time. As for baking I am on the lower end of that great learning curve. My first attempt on making a pizza was in a trad. oven. I wanted to make the perfect " pissaladiere" but I wanted my dough to be fluffy yet crisp so I doubled up on the fresh yeast in the recipe. Popped the thing in a hot oven and noticed, after about 7 minutes smoke coming out of the oven door. I then afforded myself a little peak and to my horror, the Pizza had ballooned up like a football, wedgeing itself to the top of the oven with half the topping stuck to the oven roof and the rest falling off the sides to the oven floor...hence the smoke...trial and error.....I love it!!!

Sorry for rambling on a bit

Regards Terry (C.F)

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