Porchetta Recipe

Porchetta Photo Credit: Jocelyn FilleyPorchetta is one of the favorites at Kitchen Porch. Crispy, crackling pork skin; fatty, melt-in-your mouth pork belly; are rolled together with layers of lard and herbs. I first discovered it in Italy in 2008 and became obsessed with learning how to make this amazing feast.

When made according to tradition, porchetta is a culinary undertaking: a whole, boned-out pig is stuffed with its entrails, herbs and spices and slow roasted in a wood oven. A more approachable versions of porchetta, is what we often pull together in our kitchen.

Although this recipe is time consuming, we love it!

You must request skin-on pork belly, ask your local butcher or farmer to have this cut made for you when they order. This is the bacon so it is one of many prized parts of the pig, but this thick slab of skin, fat and meat is so satisfying to work with. We stuff our belly with a shoulder or loin. The shoulder is less expensive and more flavorful flavorful.

Next you will need lard. You can use oil, but lard form heritage breed fat is not to be missed. You can also use duck fat as this is more readily available.

We use the traditional blend of salt, pepper, garlic, fennel seeds and rosemary, sage and parsley. Everything is rolled up, tied, rested overnight in the refrigerator, and then slow cooked for several hours. The skin should be crisp and the inner layers of belly and meat fall apart in your mouth. We always serve it with our Salsa Verde.

Serves: 10-12

4 to 5 pound piece of fresh, skin-on pork belly
5 to 6 pounds pork shoulder
2 tablespoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoon chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon fresh sage minced
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons kosher salt
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup lard or duck fat or olive oil

Toast the fennel seeds in a skillet over medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant. Let cool, then pulse a few times in a coffee grinder with the peppercorns and rosemary until the texture is finely ground but not powdery.

In a small bowl, mash the spice mixture with the salt, garlic and lard or olive oil to form a paste.

Lay the pork belly skin side up. Using a sharp knife (or utility knife) carefully score the skin in a tight crosshatch diamond pattern, cutting down to the fat but not through it (about 1/4 inch). The skin can be a little hard to cut through, but scoring it is essential if you want the skin to become as crispy as possible.

Turn the belly over, skin side down, and rub a bit of the spice paste all over the pork belly.

With the pork belly lying skin-side down, lay the pork shoulder on top of it. Spread the remaining spice mixture on the side of the pork shoulder that’s facing up.

Roll the shoulder up as tightly as possible leaving the belly flat. Put the rolled pork shoulder near the middle of the pork belly and fold the belly all the way over the shoulder.

Roll it once so the two ends of the belly overlap just slightly and the shoulder is completely covered in a draping of belly fat. Don’t worry if it does not fit all the way around.

Use cooking twine/string to tie the belly to the shoulder in 2-inch intervals as tightly as possible. Make sure this is even, but don’t fret too much about it being perfect.

Place on a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan and refrigerate the pork uncovered overnight.

The next day, bring the roast to room temperature for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 450ºF and cook the porchetta for 1 hour.

Turn the heat down to 325ºF and continue to roast the porchetta until a thermometer stuck into the middle of the roast registers between 150ºF (66ºC) and 160ºF (71ºC). This will take around 2 – 2 1/2 hours more.

Let the porchetta rest for 30 minutes before slicing thinly.

Photo Credit:  Jocelyn Filley

Leave a Reply

Kitchen Porch Catering | Martha's Vineyard | 508-645-5000