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How-To: Al Capone Roast

A Northwoods classic, this Al Capone Roast is the Wisconsin version of the Porketta Roast.

Rumor has it that this classic stuffed Wisconsin roast was Al Capone's favorite dish when he was hiding out in the Northwoods. Like any notorious gangster, Al Capone loved good food. And stuffed with cheese, sausage, olives and prosciutto...what's not to love? You can typically find a Capone roast at any butcher shop in Wisconsin, but making one at home is a fun project worthy of the time and effort. 

1. Prepare the Roast

To start, you'll need to butterfly a boneless pork shoulder. If you're buying your meat from a butcher (which we recommend), you can also ask if they can take care of this step for you. To butterfly, place your pork shoulder on a sturdy cutting board and rest your hand on top to keep it steady as you cut. Using a very sharp knife, slice through the center of the shoulder, stopping when there is about 1" remaining.

 butterfly pork roast

Fold open your roast and transfer to a large piece of parchment paper (at least twice its size). Fold parchment over the pork and place the entire thing in a large plastic bag. Using a meat mallet, pound pork until thin and flattened.

tenderize meat

This will help create an even thickness, tenderize the pork, and release your pent up aggression. Remove from bag, unfold parchment and lay pork flat. Make sure your pork is still on the parchment as it'll make it easier to roll in step 3. 

2. Prepare the Filling

To make your filling, start by pulsing mushrooms in a food processor until finely chopped. Cook Italian sausage until browned, then remove and cook mushrooms in the rendered sausage fat. Add garlic, salt and chili flakes and diced onions. 

In your food processor, pulse the ricotta, olives, and sun-dried tomato together until well combined and no large pieces are visible. Set aside and get ready to assemble. 

3. Assemble

To assemble the roast, start by seasoning the pork with a few generous cracks of Good Fella Italian Herb (about 1 tablespoon).  Add an even layer of Italian sausage, then spread ricotta mixture over the pork with a rubber spatula.  Top layer of ricotta with prosciutto, followed by mushrooms. Sprinkle parsley and parmesan cheese over the whole thing and you're done.  

 

assembly

Now roll and tie the pork shoulder with butcher’s twine.  Use parchment paper to guide the rolling process. Slowly roll, pressing down gently.  Remove parchment paper. Season pork with remaining 1 tablespoon of Good Fella. Tie a small loop at one end of the butcher’s twine, then truss the pork shoulder. 

truss with twine

Place sliced onion in bottom of roasting pan, and drizzle with ½ T olive oil.  Place pork on top onion, and drizzle with remaining ½ T olive oil.

 4. Roast

Roast in oven for 20 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 325 F.  Roast for an additional one hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer to cutting board to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat to reduce pan jus. Strain onion, set aside. Add red wine, butter, and heavy whipping cream.  Reduce 5 to 7 minutes, or until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Gently stir in onion.

Slice roast into 1 inch pieces.  Serve with mashed potatoes, pan reduction, and chopped parsley.

 Al Capone Roast

Difficulty: Moderate
Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
2 lbs.  Boneless Pork Shoulder
2 T  Good Fella Italian Herb, divided
1/2 lb.  Mild Italian Sausage
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup Kalamata Olives, pitted
2 T Sun-Dried Tomatoes, oil-packed
4 slices Prosciutto
8 oz.  Mushrooms
1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
Yellow Onion, sliced
Garlic Cloves, minced
Pinch Coarse Salt
Pinch Red Chili Flakes
1/3 cup Italian Parsley, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1 T  Olive Oil 
1/2 cup Beef Stock
1/2 cup  Water
1/3 cup  Red Wine
1/3 cup Heavy Cream
2 T  Butter

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven or grill to 425 F.

  2. Butterfly boneless pork shoulder (or have your local butcher do this step).  Transfer pork to parchment paper (twice its size), and fold parchment over pork.  Place in a large ziploc bag and use a meat mallet to tenderize pork. Remove from bag.  Unfold parchment and lay pork flat.

  3. Pulse mushrooms in a food processor 10 times, to chop fine. Set aside.

  4. Brown Italian sausage in a skillet over medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon to break up into small pieces. Once browned (around 5 minutes), use a slotted spoon to transfer sausage to a glass bowl, and set aside to cool. 
     
  5. While the skillet is hot, sauté the mushrooms in the rendered sausage fat.  Mix minced garlic clove with salt and chili flakes, then add to mushrooms along with diced onion. Sauté for 3 minutes, until onions are tender. Set aside.

  6. Combine ricotta, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes in a food processor.  Process on high for 30 seconds, until well combined and no large pieces remain. Set aside.

  7. To assemble roast, start by seasoning pork shoulder with 1 tablespoon of Good Fella.  Then add an even layer of Italian sausage, and then spread ricotta mixture over pork with a rubber spatula.  Top layer of ricotta with prosciutto, followed by mushrooms. Sprinkle parsley and parmesan cheese over the mushrooms.  

  8. Now roll and tie the pork shoulder with butcher’s twine.  Use parchment paper to guide the rolling process. Slowly roll, pressing down gently.  Remove parchment paper. Season pork with the remaining 1 tablespoon of Good Fella. Tie a small loop at one end of the butcher’s twine, then truss the pork shoulder. 

  9. Place sliced onion in bottom of roasting pan, and drizzle with ½ T olive oil.  Place pork on top onion, and drizzle with remaining ½ T olive oil.

  10. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, then lower oven temperature to 325 F.  Roast for an additional one hour and 10 minutes. Remove from oven. Transfer to cutting board to rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

  11. Meanwhile, heat a skillet over medium heat to reduce pan jus.  Strain onion, set aside. Add red wine, butter, and heavy whipping cream.  Reduce 5 to 7 minutes, or until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Gently stir in onion.

  12. Slice roast into 1 inch pieces.  Serve with mashed potatoes, pan reduction, and chopped parsley.

Capone Roast with Mashed Potatoes

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