Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Porchetta: A Calorific Journey into Italian Food

Well, hello there my amazing blogging friends! Welcome to another edition of EMEF! You caught me in the middle of drooling over a recipe that I have. I know, I know... that's slightly embarassing, but I don't care. If you've followed me from the beginning, you would know that I am a hard core foodie. It's all I think about. Well, actually, I think about you all as well. This blog would be nothing without each and every one of you. So, since you're all here with me again, I'm going to share this recipe with you. Please note that this recipe is chock full of calories and fat. It's a bomb waiting to go off. Please eat this dish in portions, or with a HUGE family. Anywho... Meet me in the kitchen and we can get cracking!


You will need:

  • 6 pounds fresh pork belly, skin on
  • 3 pounds 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
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 orange, seeded, rind-on, thinly sliced

Let's do this!

  1. Place the belly skin-side down, and arrange the loin in the center. 
  2. Roll the belly around the loin so the ends of the belly meet. 
  3. If any of the belly or the loin overlaps, trim the meat with a sharp knife. Unroll and set aside.
  4. In a small pan over medium heat, toast the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes until fragrant, about 1 minute. 
  5. Let the spices cool, and then finely grind them in a spice mill or clean coffee grinder until very fine. 
  6. Transfer the spices to a small bowl, and toss with the sage, rosemary, and garlic. 
  7. Set spice mixture aside.
  8. Arrange the belly skin side down on a counter or large cutting board. Using a knife, score the belly flesh in a checkerboard pattern about 1/3 of an inch deep, to help the roast cook evenly.
  9. Flip the belly over and poke dozens of 1/8 inch deep holes through the skin, all over the belly.
  10. Using a spiked meat mallet, pound the skin side of the belly all over for at least three minutes. 
  11. This will tenderize the skin and help it to puff up and get crispy when roasted.
  12. Turn the belly, them salt both the loin and belly generously with kosher salt. 
  13. Rub the flesh side of belly and entire loin with the fennel mixture. Arrange the loin down the middle of the belly and top with orange slices.
  14. Wrap the belly around the loin and tie crosswise tightly at 1/2 to 1 inch intervals with kitchen twine.
  15. Trim the twine and transfer the roast to a wire rack set on a baking dish. Refrigerate uncovered for at least 24 hours to allow the skin to air-dry.
  16. When ready to cook, let the porchetta sit at room temperature for two hours. 
  17. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, and season the porchetta with salt. 
  18. Roast on a rack on a baking sheet for 40 minutes, turning once. 
  19. Reduce the heat to 300 degrees and continue roasting, rotating the pan and turning the roast about every 20 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the center of the roast reads 140 degrees.
  20. If the skin is not yet a deep mahogany color, crank the heat back up to 500 degrees and roast for ten minutes more. 
  21. Let rest for 30 minutes, before slicing into 1/2 inch round slices with a serrated knife. 
  22. Serve slices or in sandwich form.
  23. Enjoy!

I know that this dish takes a while to make, but the end result is well worth all of the hard work that I put you through. I feel no guilt eating this dish and neither should you if you like working out. After eating this meal, I will be at the gym an extra 4 hours this week... True story. Anyway, thank you for joining me once again and I will catch you all tomorrow for more delicious recipes! Happy blogging to all! <3