Friday, July 31, 2020

Porchetta

I had never heard of porchetta until I stumbled across this recipe on Pinterest. So what is it? Porchetta is an Italian pork roast. It’s made by wrapping a seasoned pork loin in pork belly, marinating for a day or two, then slow roasting. Then I googled pork belly and found out it was an uncured slab of bacon. Insert Homer Simpson uuuuuugh here. Where has this been all my life? It sounds absolutely mouthwatering!

An Italian way to roast pork that’s so full of flavor (and makes fantastic sandwiches!)

Recipe Author: Caroline at Caroline’s Cooking
Get the recipe

The Ingredients

Let’s start with the easy stuff. I always have olive oil on hand, and I had plenty of leftover herbs from this year’s Thanksgiving recipes. That left only a few things to shop for, the pork loin and the pork belly. You know, the major ingredients for this roast.

The pork loin was easy to find, and I picked up a 1 1/2 pound piece for $8.49. The pork belly required some hunting. After visiting three grocery stores, I finally found it at Doris Italian Market. They had packages of small pieces on display, but the butcher was kind enough to cut me a larger two-pound piece.

Porchetta Ingredients
Pepper, salt, pork loin, fennel fronds, rosemary, sage, thyme, fennel seeds, olive oil, garlic, lemon, and pork belly

The Process

The first thing I noticed was the pork belly was not large enough to wrap around the pork loin, no matter how I trimmed it. I would not be deterred, and I watched a few how to make porchetta videos on YouTube. The solution to my problem was to cut my long piece of pork loin into two shorter pieces. Then I butterflied the pork belly to make it longer and thinner. Now both pieces of meat were just the right size for wrapping.

The butterflied pork belly and pork loin halves with marinade paste
The butterflied pork belly and pork loin halves with marinade paste

One video I watched also showed removing the skin and wrapping the porchetta in it (so the pork loin would be wrapped in the pork belly, and both would be wrapped in the skin). I wanted to keep things simple, so I left the skin on and cut it away as I ate.

Once the meat was cut, I toasted the fennel seeds and used my mini-prep to mix the herbs, spices, lemon zest, and olive oil into a paste. Spreading it onto the pork was simple, then it was time to roll it all up and tie it.

Tying the roast took some patience. I wasn’t sure how much kitchen string I needed, so I measured out roughly 10 feet to be on the safe side. The author linked to really clear written instructions and photos in another of her blog posts. I also saw the technique in the videos I watched.

It wasn’t too difficult to do, but getting the tension right was. Getting the wrap tight enough to hold together but not so tight the pork loin is squeezed out must be an art. My wrapped porchetta seemed flimsy, so I added a crosswise tie of kitchen string to make sure it held together.

The wrapped, tied , and seasoned porchetta
The wrapped, tied, and seasoned porchetta

After two days marinating in the refrigerator, it was time to roast. I let the porchetta sit at room temperature for an hour and a half, then it was onto a roasting rack and into the oven. I had the juiciest, most succulent pork roast I’ve ever tried 2 hours and 20 minutes later.

Here is the breakdown of all the steps and how long the entire process took:

  • 26 minutes to prep
  • 48 hours to marinate
  • 2 hours 20 minutes to roast
  • 10 minutes to stand
  • 2 hours 25 minutes total (not including 48 hours to marinate)

So how was it?

Clear & Accurate Directions
Accurate Time(s)
Appearance
Taste
This has to be one of the best pork dishes I have ever tried! It was the definition of succulent: tender, juicy, and tasty, and that was the day I made it. The leftovers only got better! The herbs mellowed and permeated the meat even further, and reheating didn’t diminish the succulence. This is a recipe that takes some planning and skill to get a porchetta that looks as lovely as the recipe author's, but it is more than worth the effort. Mine wasn't all that pretty, but I'll happily keep practicing until I get the technique down!
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Candicehttps://www.hungrypinner.com
Hi, I'm Candice, and I'm The Hungry Pinner. I created this blog to share my love for cooking and my experiences with the MANY recipes I've found on Pinterest over the years. Be sure to check out my Pinterest boards and share your Pinterest cooking adventures in the comments section.

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