Porchetta

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by Chef Gabe Bertaccini

azfamily.com

Posted on April 3, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Roasting skin-on pork belly that's been wrapped around a pork loin gives you the best of both worlds: crackling mahogany crust and juicy meat seasoned with fennel, chile, and orange. Start at least 24 hours ahead. First, ask your butcher for a skin-on pork belly that's just long and wide enough to wrap around a trimmed, center-cut pork

1 5–6-pound piece fresh pork belly, skin on
• 1 (trimmed) 2–3-pound boneless, center-cut pork loin
• 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
• 2 tablespoons crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
• 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
• 3 garlic cloves, minced
• Kosher salt
• 1/2 orange, seeded, thinly sliced

Put belly skin side down; arrange loin in center. Roll belly around loin so the short ends of the belly meet. If any of the belly or loin overhangs, trim meat. Unroll; set loin aside.

Toast fennel seeds and red pepper flakes in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Tip spices into a bowl; let cool. Finely grind spices in a spice mill and transfer to a small bowl, along with the sage, rosemary, and garlic; set fennel mixture aside.

Assemble porchetta according to steps 1-5.

Refrigerate roast, uncovered, for 1–2 days to allow skin to air-dry; pat occasionally with paper towels.

Let porchetta sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 500°F. Season porchetta with salt. Roast on rack in baking sheet, turning once, for 40 minutes. Reduce heat to 300°F and continue roasting, rotating the pan and turning porchetta occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 145°F, 1 1/2–2 hours more. If skin is not yet deep brown and crisp, increase heat to 500°F and roast for 10 minutes more. Let rest for 30 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice into 1/2" rounds.

To assemble:
1. Set belly skin side down. Using a knife, score the belly flesh in a checkerboard pattern 1/3" deep so roast will cook evenly.
2. Flip belly skin side up. Using a paring knife, poke dozens of 1/8"-deep holes through skin all over belly. Don't be gentle! Keep poking.
3. Using the jagged edge of a meat mallet, pound skin all over for 3 minutes to tenderize, which will help make skin crispy when roasted.
4. Turn belly and generously salt both it and loin; rub both with fennel mixture. Arrange loin down middle of belly. Top with orange slices.
5. Roll belly around loin; tie crosswise with kitchen twine at 1/2" intervals. Trim twine. Transfer roast to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet.


 

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