Porchetta is a classic Italian roast recipe, typically made with a pork loin rolled into pork belly and seasoned with herbs and citrus. This is probably our favorite way to make pork, since the fat and skin keep the meat from drying out. We love the crispy skin!
The herb filling in porchetta seems especially appropriate at Christmas. The filling includes lots of great wintery herbs like rosemary, garlic, bay leaves, and fennel, while the addition of citrus, brightens the flavors and contrasts with the richness of pork belly.
The most challenging part of making a porchetta is the rolling and tying. We’ve learned that the secret to a great porchetta is keeping the layers uniform and rolling it tightly so that it cooks evenly and stays juicy.
Butterfly the loin into a long, uniform layer, and butterfly the pork belly so that the skin is all on one end. Start rolling from the meat end, so that the skin is on the outside of the finished roll so that the final roast is wrapped in a layer of crispy skin. It should be so crispy you can shatter it!
- zest of one lemon
- zest of one orange
- juice from one lemon
- 6 garlic cloves, whole
- 5 sprigs fresh rosemary, stripped
- 1 T fennel seeds
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 T salt
- 1 T peppercorns
- 1 T dry white wine
- olive oil, as needed
- 2 lbs pork loin without skin, butterflied
- 3 lbs pork belly with skin, butterflied
- 1 lb fingerling potatoes
- 1 lb brussel sprouts
- Place zest, garlic, rosemary leaves, fennel seeds, bay leaves, white wine, salt, pepper in food processor and pulse until the herbs are finely chopped. Drizzle in lemon juice and enough olive oil to make a smooth paste.
- The pork loin and belly should be flat. Salt and pepper both sides of the meat. Place the pork belly skin side down.
- Rub the paste on the pork belly side facing up and on the top side of the pork loin.
- Place the pork loin on top of the pork belly.
- Tightly roll the loin and belly together so that the skin covers the outside of the roll.
- Tie the meat lengthwise and with 1-2 inch intervals across with butcher’s twine. Make sure to use strong tension so that the meat is compressed and will cook evenly.
- Allow to rest in refrigerator for 24 hours.*
- Either cook on a spit or in a roasting pan.
- To cook in a roasting pan, heat oven to 450F. Set on roasting pan. Cook for 30 minutes. Turn down heat to 350F and cook for 1 hour.
- Toss potatoes and brussel sprouts in olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add to the bottom of the pan and surrounding the roast. Cook for another 3o minutes before checking the temperature of the roast.
- When the roast reaches 140F in the center, turn on broiler to high. Allow to cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the skin is crispy enough, watching carefully to make sure the top of the roast does not burn.
- Take out, cover, and rest for 15 minutes. Enjoy and serve!