Porchetta: Stuffed and Rolled Italian Pork Roast

Rolled Porchetta on platter
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  • Total: 3 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 35 mins
  • Cook: 2 hrs 40 mins
  • Servings: 20 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
2194 Calories
191g Fat
14g Carbs
99g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 20
Amount per serving
Calories 2194
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 191g 245%
Saturated Fat 68g 340%
Cholesterol 452mg 151%
Sodium 360mg 16%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 99g
Calcium 142mg 11%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Porchetta (pronounced "pore-KET-ah") is a famous Italian dish of boneless and butterflied pork shoulder stuffed with freshly made sausage and wrapped and roasted in pork belly, which crisps up oozes delicious juices when the porchetta is sliced. We've substituted pork loin for the shoulder since it holds together and makes slicing easier. It's best to prepare the porchetta the day before (without cooking) and refrigerate it overnight, which allows the pork belly to dry so it's extra crispy when roasted.

Ask your butcher to butterfly the pork loin so it lays out flat with a one-inch thickness. If you don't have a butcher, you can easily do it yourself. Just cut open the pork down the center, lengthwise, stopping one inch from the opposite side. As you cut the loin, open the flap you're cutting like a book. Cut into the thicker portion that you've just cut, again stopping at one inch, and open it up as you did the first cut. It should lay flat.

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork loin (butterflied with a 1-inch thickness)
  • 1 pinch kosher salt (more, if needed)
  • 1 pinch black pepper (freshly ground)
  • 1 small bulb fennel (or anise)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • 8 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seed
  • 1 tablespoons red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (minced)
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 lemon (zested, finely grated)
  • 1 (5 pound) pork belly

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Spread out the loin so it's flat and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

  3. Chop off the top of the fennel bulb and save the fuzzy fronds. Quarter the bulb then slice very thinly. Finely chop the fronds.​

  4. In a skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and add the sliced fennel bulb, onion, garlic, fennel seeds, pepper flakes, and rosemary. Sauté about 8 minutes until lightly browned.

  5. Add the ground pork to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until it is no longer pink.​ Add the fennel fronds. Taste for salt and pepper and adjust the seasoning as needed. Transfer to a mixing bowl and allow to cool.

  6. Add the panko, beaten egg, and lemon zest to the cooked pork mixture.​

  7. Lay the pork belly, skin-side down, on a work surface. Use a sharp paring knife to score a cross-hatch pattern into the belly. This enables the extra fat to be rendered and allow the skin to crisp.

  8. Turn the belly over, skin-side up, and pierce small slits all over. Use a meat tenderizer to pound the pork belly all over.

  9. Lay the flat pork loin on top of the pork belly. Spread the browned ground pork mixture evenly over the pork loin.

  10. Roll the belly and shoulder together like a jelly roll. Tie with butcher's twine at intervals to hold it all together. You can cook the porchetta now, or refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.​ If you've refrigerated the porchetta overnight, allow it to come to room temperature for two hours before roasting.​

  11. Preheat the oven to 350 F.

  12. Liberally season the porchetta with Kosher salt and pepper, then set it on a rack in a roasting pan or a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 2 to 2 1/2 hours.​

  13. Check the internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer. When it reads 145 F, take the porchetta out of the oven. If the porchetta skin is not yet browned, increase the oven temperature to 500 F and roast 10 more minutes.​

  14. Let the porchetta rest 20 minutes, then carve into slices.

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