Fall is the Season for Anna Mae Rolls!

Last November, I wrote about a local women who launched her own Southern Sourdough roll company with the inspiration from her Grandmother. I loved getting to know Shana Martin through the process and enjoyed cooking with her Anna Mae Sweet Potato and Molasses Rolls. I’ve used them for parties, made an awesome batch of savory bread pudding and spread the word to friends and family up and down the east coast. And since then, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Shana more – exchanging emails about food, family and current Greensboro happenings (she even wrote a beautiful testimonial to our downtown food truck efforts).

Shana is on a roll, literally! Since last November, she has grown her business tremendously from her first days in the Fresh Market. In less than two years, Anna Mae Southern Bread Co., has garnered distribution in over 422 grocery locations in 25 states. And, as of yesterday, Anna Mae Southern Bread Co., ‘Sweet Yeast’ Original and Sweet Potato & Molasses frozen rolls are now available in the deli freezers of 209 Harris Teeter locations in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, Maryland, Tennessee, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida and Georgia! Can believe it?

Actually, I can. Her spirit and enthusiasm for food is infectious. You’ll see it in this video.

As the holidays roll rapidly toward us, I suggest stocking up on Anna Mae rolls this season, as they are perfect for any occasion – a bonfire brunch, a formal dinner party or leftovers for the game. Check out this decadent recipe I shared on my blog and in the News & Record last November! This porchetta is even more delicious the next day stuffed into a Anna Mae Sweet Potato & Molasses Rolls with fresh winter greens. Enjoy!

Fall Porchetta Sliders with Anna Mae Sweet Potato and Molasses Rolls

Porchetta, adapted from Bon Appetit September 2011

  • 1 (8 by 14 inch rectanlge) piece fresh pork belly, skin on
  • 1 2–3-pound boneless, center-cut pork loin
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 10 cloves roasted garlic (or garlic confit)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 orange, thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, thinly sliced

Put belly skin side down; arrange loin in center. Roll belly around loin to see if it will fit when enclosed. Trim the meat accordingly. Set the pork loin aside.

Set belly skin side down. Score the belly flesh with a sharp knife 1/3″ deep in a grid pattern. Flip belly to the skin side up. Using a smaller knife, stab the skin of the pork (all the way through) as much as you can. This is the time to take your aggression out! If you didn’t get enough rage out, now use the pointy side of the a meat mallet and pound the skin vigorously. This will tenderize the meat and ensure an extra crispy outside.

Season all sides of both pork belly and loin generously with salt.  Sprinkle the inside of the pork belly with fennel seed, sage, rosemary, roasted garlic and red pepper flakes. Layer citrus on top of the seasoned meat. Place the pork loin down middle of belly. Roll belly around loin and  tie with kitchen twine.  Refrigerate, uncovered, for 1–2 days. This will dry the skin out to increase the crunchiness.

Before cooking, allow the roast to come to room temperature. Preheat oven to 500°F. Season again with salt. Roast for 40 minutes turning occasionally. Reduce heat to 300°F for another hour to hour and a half  until the internal temperature is 145°F. If the skin isn’t crispy enough, bring the oven back to 500°F for another 10 minutes. Allow the roast to rest and then slice.

For day-after sliders,

  • leftover porchetta, sliced
  • baby collard greens or other tender winter green, julienned
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • garlic oil
  • salt & pepper
  • Anna Mae’s Sweet Potato and Molasses Rolls

Wash, dry and julienne the greens. Season with lemon juice, garlic olive oil, salt and pepper. Stuff leftover porchetta and greens into a warm Anna Mae Sweet Potato and Molasses Roll.

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