Porchetta is one of those dishes you want to make for a special occasion feast gathered around the table with friends and family. Half of the fun is bringing the big beast to the table and carving it in front of your guests. Be sure to pass around pieces of the crackling, which may just be everyone’s favorite bite. Make sure to make enough to enough porchetta panini the next day.
4 to 6 pounds pork belly (preferably with skin on)
3 to 4 pounds pork loin
1⁄2 cup each chopped fresh herbs: Italian parsley, sage, rosemary, oregano
6 Tablespoons Bella Cucina Citrus Fennel Salt
PREPARATION: Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
To assemble the filling for the porchetta, mix the chopped herbs, garlic and 5 Tablespoons salt in a bowl.
On a clean cutting board, place the pork belly skin side up. With a sharp knife, score the skin diagonally from top to bottom and left to right, making diamond-shaped cuts just deep enough to penetrate the surface of the skin. Turn the pork belly over so the scored skin is on the cutting board. Evenly spread half of the herb and garlic mixture reserved for the porchetta on the belly. Butterfly the pork loin in half lengthwise, so it opens up like a book. Place on top of the pork belly and spread the remaining half of the herb mixture.
Cut 8 to 10 long pieces of butcher string and slide under the skin of the pork belly from top to bottom. Starting at the end closest to you, roll the pork belly and loin away from you until it looks like a tightly formed jelly roll. Starting at either end, tie the pork securely with the butcher string so the roll stays intact during cooking. Place the rolled pork on a baking rack and place on a sheet pan. Sprinkle the pork with the remaining 1 Tablespoon salt place in a preheated oven. (Make sure the oven is cleaned, otherwise it may start to smoke at this high temperature.)
Cook the pork for about 30 minutes, or until skin begins to crackle and brown. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees and cook for an additional hour and a half, or until the center of the pork reaches 140 degrees. Move the pork onto a cutting surface to rest, and pour the pan juices into a bowl. Cut into slices and serve with Bella Cucina Olivada Olive Pesto.