Traditional Italian Porchetta
Welcome back to another recipe! Hope your day is going great, because it's going to get a lot better with the video I have in store for you. Today, I bring you one of, if not, the best piece of pork you can find out there, we’re taking the plunge into the traditional Italian Porchetta, also known as pork belly roast. What makes this cut of pork so darn good is the great combination of fat, meatiness, tenderness and crunchiness, all rolled into one amazing piece!
Porchetta is a very big deal in Italy, it even has its own festival called “Porchettiamo” which literally translates “I love Porchetta” and I’ve got to be honest, its a festival I definitely want to go to. The traditional Porchetta is deboned and gutted, most of the time with its head still on, it is filled with different herbs and rolled to be put on a spit and roast over a wooden fire. Many hours later, the Porchetta is cut into smaller pieces and put in between two delicious italian bread, toppings will depend on where in Italy you are… but we assure you it’s an epic sandwich!
Doing this recipe I wondered why Porchetta has the fame of being better than the regular pork belly that you can find in local supermarkets. Well, German had the answer! Regular pork belly is usually just the pork skin and the underbelly, really what you would get bacon out of. Porchetta is actually a combination of three cuts into one, it has that nice skin and fat from the underbelly, but it also has the rib part which bring some tenderness to the plate, and last but not least it also includes the pork loin which brings amazing meatiness and flavor to it. When he explained this to me, I was even more excited to give it a try.
- Light up your FOGO Charcoal and set up your rotisserie.
- Chop your rosemary and thyme leaves together, put them in a mortar or a bowl and add the lemon zest, the chopped garlic, fennel seeds and salt to taste.
- Take your pestle or the back of your spoon and combine all your herbs until the mix well together.
- To prepare the Porchetta we will start by trimming the edges to make sure it is nice and even.
- Butterfly the loin, this will allow you to put in more seasoning and therefore more flavor.
- Turn the Porchetta, skin side up and score it by using a criss-cross method, and make sure to poke it with the end of your knife all over - this will give you the perfect crispy skin.
- Turn the Porchetta, skin side down. Take the mix of herbs and apply generously over it. Grab your butcher’s twine, and roll the porchetta. Use the twine to keep it nice and tight.
- Place the Porchetta on the spit, but before make sure that your charcoal is placed on the sides of your grill - there will be a lot of fat rendering so you don’t want that falling directly in the charcoal.
- Time will depend on the size of your porchetta, with a 20lb one we managed to have it cooked in 4-5 hours, but to truly know if it is done, make sure to reach an internal temperature of 165F.
- To make the skin crispy, carefully raise the fire by adding charcoal to finish to sear the outside - but be super careful as you don’t want to burn the Porchetta at the very last minute.
- Remove off the fire, and make sure to remove that twine!
- Cut into small pieces and put it into some nice toasted bread.
Top it off with some salt and olive oil.
The most amazing crackling...
As soon as I can get my hands on this beautiful masterpiece, I can just feel how crunchy the skin is going to be. As I remove the twine and start cutting into it, the juices just start flowing and that herbal smell takes over. I am so ready to give this a try!!!
I take a bite, and all I can think is how decadent the meat is, you can definitely feel the fat, but also the tenderness and juiciness and oh that crispiness from the skin. I’ve never had such a complete bite and I am addicted to it. I could keep eating this, but it’s so huge that I think it could definitely feed an army.
So after I get my taste test on, German teaches me how Porchetta is prepared in Italy. It is put into bread, Italians usually use focaccia or other Italian bread, but in this case we used something similar to a Ciabatta. We put in the meat, sprinkle some salt, drizzle the olive oil and take a nice big bite!! It is so good! You can also put any other topping, personally I think it would go great with some arugula to balance it out a little bit.
I cannot recommend this enough, it is something you have to try! It’s the perfect dish for big get togethers or special events.
Let me know in the comments, have you ever tried a traditional Porchetta? Did you love it just like I did?
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