Crisp, crackly skin redolent with the flavor and aroma of rosemary, fennel seed, and garlic encases a moist, flavorful interior that's delicious to the last bite. Serve this porchetta with a hearty side dish such as these Lentils with Herbs and Sun-Dried Tomatoes, which complement the rich fattiness of the pork nicely.
For the rub
- 2 Tablespoons fennel seeds
- 2 Tablespoons kosher salt
- 2 Tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
For the garlic paste
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1/2 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
For the pork roast
- One 4-pound boneless pork loin roast
- 2 Pounds pork belly
Calories Per Serving1397
Folate equivalent (total)2µgN/A
- 1) Start by toasting your fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry skillet for a couple minutes or until fragrant, then crush in a mortar and pestle until just about pulverized, set aside.
2) Lay the pork belly on your surface (fat side down) roll lengthwise to mark the section that gets rolled under, then trim all the fat from that section (watch video for clear instructions on this) flip it back over and score the top into a crisscross pattern making sure not to cut through the meaty part, just the fat.
3) Liberally season the fat side with lots of salt and pepper, then flip it over, score the meat side as well, then season with lots of salt, the peppercorn and fennel seed mixture. Grate the garlic over with a zester, followed by the citrus zest and scatter the herbs around, massage it all in so the flavors gets in all the places you scored.
4) Roll the porchetta lengthwise (making sure the part you trimmed ends up tucked in) secure with about 8 pieces or so of kitchen twine. Place the porchetta on a wire rack overtop of a sheet pan, place in the fridge (top rack) for a minimum of 12 hours or up to 48 hours, I keep mine in for about 20 hours.
5) Take the roast out and allow it to come to room temperature for an hour, then preheat your oven to 300 degrees, pop it in the oven and bake for 2.5 hours, then increase the temperature to 500 degrees (don't take the roast out, once it's at 500 then time it for 30 minutes) and roast for 30 more minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
6) Carefully remove from the oven, allow to sit for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- 1 bunch fresh sage, leaves removed and finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
- 1 bunch fresh oregano, leaves removed and finely chopped
- 12 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons fennel pollen
- Coarse salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons freshly grated lemon zest
- 1 (5- to 8-pound) pork belly, skin-on
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 (3- to 4-pound) pork loin
- 1 shallot, very finely chopped
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- 3 tablespoons Chardonnay vinegar
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 4 filone rolls, split
- 12 (1/4-inch thick) slices porchetta
- 1 cup baby arugula
In a medium bowl, mix together sage, rosemary, oregano, garlic, fennel pollen, salt, pepper, and lemon zest set aside.
Place pork belly skin side up on a clean work surface. Using a very sharp knife, score skin in a diamond-shape fashion. Turn pork belly over so that it is skin-side down. Season flesh side of belly with salt and pepper and half of the herb mixture.
Place pork loin on a cutting board. Holding the blade of the knife parallel to board, cut along the length of the pork loin, but not all the way through. Unfold so that it opens like a book. Place butterflied loin on top of pork belly. Season with salt and pepper and spread with remaining herb mixture.
Roll pork away from you into a cylindrical shape tie with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals to make snug.
Season skin with salt and pepper. Transfer to refrigerator, uncovered, so that it air-dries for 3 days.
Fit a rimmed baking sheet with a rack and transfer pork to rack. Preheat oven to 500 degrees with a rack set in the lower third of the oven.
Transfer pork, skin side up, to oven and cook until skin begins to crackle, 20 to 25 minutes. Reduce temperature to 325 degrees and continue roasting until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast reaches 135 degrees, about 2 1/2 hours, tenting with foil if necessary. Let stand 30 minutes before slicing.
Make the salsa verde: In a medium bowl, mix together shallot, parsley, chives, vinegar, oregano, and salt whisk in olive oil until emulsified. Stir in mustard and lemon juice, set aside.
Make the sandwich: Cover split sides of rolls with salsa verde. Place 3 porchetta slices and some of the crackling on one half of each of the rolls top with arugula and sandwich together with remaining half.
Common Questions About Porketta
Yes, you could but honestly, the porketta seasoning recipe I have here really is perfect for this recipe and only takes a minute or two to make.
Pork loin is what I use. Alternatively, you could use pork shoulder, bone in or out.
Of Course, just brown first, cook for about 15 minutes per pound.
New cooking guidelines from the nation’s food-safety agency shows pork can be consumed safely when cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a three-minute rest time.
Favorites to serve with this Porchetta are Creamy Polenta, or Instant Pot Macaroni and Cheese, a nice salad, and Green Beans Almondine.
I store the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a 4 days.
This Porketta recipe makes the BEST sandwiches, either cold on a nice roll or heated up under the broiler with some melted cheese on tip.
- 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.
- 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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What is Porchetta?
Porchetta is an Italian pork roast traditionally made by deboning a pig carcass, leaving on the fat and skin, and stuffing it with fennel, rosemary, garlic and other ingredients that vary by region. The prepared carcass is slow roasted over wood for several hours resulting in a moist and tender meat with crispy skin.
Porchetta originated in central Italy but is popular throughout the country. Porchetta panino (sandwiches) are a popular way to enjoy this iconic Italian roasted meat.
On our most recent trip to Italy I was determined to sample some porchetta in at least a couple of different locations. Our most memorable experience eating porchetta was in the scenic and charming town of Orvieto in Umbria. Perched on top of a rock cliff with breathtaking views, a cathedral dating from 1290, and an underground cave network dating back to Etruscan times, Orvieto is well worth a visit.
Along with her tips on what to see in Orvieto, my friend and fellow blogger, Christina at Christina’s Cucina, had recommended trying the porchetta at a particular butcher in this village and we timed our arrival for lunchtime.
With rumbling tummies we watched as the lady cut off thick slices of seasoned porchetta and laid them on freshly baked, crispy bread. She wrapped them in paper and we sat down on some steps outside where eagerly devoured our porchetta sandwiches.
I knew that as soon as we got back home I would have to go to work creating an easy version of this phenomenal Italian dish!
While it’s certainly possible to order a whole pig from your local butcher and prepare porchetta the traditional, for most of us that just isn’t very practical. I wanted to find a way to capture that incredible flavor that was easy, accessible and cost effective.
And so here it is: An easy porchetta recipe that anyone can make and everyone will enjoy!
Porchetta: Stuffed and Rolled Italian Pork Roast
Porchetta (pronounced "pore-KET-ah" or "pore-KET-tah") is a famous Italian dish of stuffed boneless and butterflied pork shoulder that is wrapped and roasted in pork belly, which crisps up and releases delicious juices when the porchetta is sliced. This recipe uses pork loin in place of 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, allowing 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 1-inch thickness. If you don't have a butcher, you can easily do it yourself. Cut the pork down the center, lengthwise, stopping 1 inch from the opposite side, opening the flap like a book as you cut. The butterflied pork loin should lay flat.
Serve the sliced porchetta with roasted fingerling potatoes and a green vegetable, such as green beans or Brussels sprouts.
What is porchetta?
Porchetta (pronounced por-KEH-tah) is an amazing example of pork cookery and one that the Italians have been loving for centuries. It is sold in sandwiches from road-side bistros and from food trucks and is brought, whole and gleaming, to the table of family celebrations. Originally, it was made from a whole side of a pig that has been deboned, rolled up, and roasted on a spit. Yum. Now it is usually made by wrapping a pork belly around a pork loin and roasting it. Still yum.
Since most of us don’t have a whole side of a pig, let alone a spit on which to cook it, we’re going to show you how to cook a delicious and traditionally flavored porchetta that is both more juicy and far easier to make than the original. It’s so tasty that it will knock the turkey right off your holiday table.
Authentic Porchetta Recipe – Italian Pork Roast
Porchetta is made using the whole pig—deboned, stuffed and rolled, and Ariccia is the village that makes the very best one that serves enough for a large party. If you ever visited Italy, chances are that you have also walked though an Italian street food market, then you probably have seen little booths selling porchetta and porchetta panini.
Nonna makes a small version of the porchetta during the Thanksgiving holiday, which in Italy is called “Festa del Ringraziamento” just like in America means Thanksgiving, but the tradition refers to the gifts that Mother Earth gives to us.
This year, I wanted to do something different for Thanksgiving, so I decided to save a turkey and make this recipe for pork lovers. The secret and distinct flavor is fennel pollen, that is imported from Italy, you can find at a gourmet food store or online, it is a bit expensive, but worth it! Just like the American Thanksgiving, there will be leftovers, and this recipe makes a delicious porchetta sandwich.
Eataly Class: Porchetta Roast
Porchetta Sandwiches are amazing! Imagine a lean pork loin wrapped in a pork belly (basically uncured bacon) with herbs and spices and slow roasted until totally juicy and crispy! Imagine thin slices of porchetta roast dripping with fat and juice, and touch of crisp skin with each piece, piled high on a fresh-baked Italian sub roll. Add a drizzle of earthy-green extra virgin olive oil. My friends, a well made Porchetta Sandwich is an Italian food experience everyone should try at least once. I believe the key to eating Porchetta is to have it on bread. It needs a way to absorb all the amazing juice and flavor. This method of a pork loin wrapped in pork belly is a traditional Italian-style Porchetta Roast. You can also make a porchetta with 100% All-Pork Belly. Check out this video to learn how.
This is the finished Porchetta roast. Pink in the center, juicy and a crispy bacon layer on the outside.
One of the best Porchetta Sandwiches I’ve had (in the U.S.) was at Eataly in Chicago. They serve it only on Thursday and Sundays. When I saw that my favorite Chef Jeremy Williams was going to teach a class on how they make their Porchetta Roasts, well we just had to go. Chef Williams taught us how to brine, spice, roll, and truss a Porchetta Roast. We were able to take the finished rolled roasts home to cook.
Chef Jeremy Williams and Cara, Eataly Chicago, Porchetta Class
This recipe uses one 4-pound boneless pork loin roast, and one 4-pound boneless pork belly sliced open like a book. The pork loin roast is brined overnight in a simple water/sugar/salt solution. This does make a positive difference to season the interior of the meat. The spice rub used at Eataly was a blend of fennel seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper, and red pepper flakes all freshly ground to a fine powder.
The pork loin is rolled in the spice mixture and then stuffed inside the pork belly. The pork belly skin is on the outside. The package is then nicely tied with a butcher’s string using a trussing technique. Learning how to make butcher’s knots is easy once you get the concept. Not sure I mastered that one yet.
Roast the porchetta in a 350 degree oven for about 2 1/2 hours or until the internal temperature is 140 degrees. The outside skin will be crispy, and most of the fat of the pork belly will have melted into the roast and pan.
Let cool, and then slice with a serrated knife. Serve up piles of slice porchetta with crispy skin on an Italian sub roll. Drizzle with olive oil and dig in!