Porchetta (pronounced "pore-KET-ah") is a famous Italian recipe for 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 refrigerating overnight, which allows the pork belly to dry so it's extra crispy when roasted.
- 3 to 4 pounds boneless pork loin
- Pinch or two kosher salt
- 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)
- 1 pound ground pork
- 2 tablespoons fennel seed
- 1 tablespoons red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary (minced)
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 egg (beaten)
- 1 lemon (zested, finely grated)
- 1 5 pound piece of pork belly
- Ask your butcher to butterfly the pork loin so it lays out flat to 1-inch thickness. If you don't have a butcher, you can easily do it yourself by following the next step.
- Cut open the pork down the center, lengthwise, stopping at 1-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 1-inch, and open it up as you did the first cut. Spread out the loin so it's flat.
- Sprinkle the loin with Kosher salt and ground pepper.
- Chop off the top of the fennel bulb and save the fuzzy fronds. Quarter the bulb, then slice very thinly. Finely chop the fronds.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, and add the fennel (except the fronds), onion, garlic, fennel seeds, red pepper, and rosemary. Sauté 8 minutes until lightly browned, then add the ground pork, and cook, stirring often, until no longer pink.
- Taste for salt and pepper, and adjust seasoning, if desired. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool. Combine the panko, beaten egg and lemon zest to the browned pork mixture.
- 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. Turn the belly over, skin side up and pierce small slits all over. Using a meat tenderizer, pound the belly over the entire surface.
- Lay the flat pork loin on top of the pork belly. Spread the browned ground pork mixture evenly over the pork loin, then 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 2 hours before roasting.
- Preheat oven to 350 F. 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.
- 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.
- Let the porchetta rest 20 minutes, then carve into slices. Any leftover porchetta makes incredible sandwiches the next day.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|