I promise you this is one of the best things you will ever eat. Period.
If I had my way I would eat Porchetta every day for the rest of my life. However, since it’s a pork loin rolled in pork belly, it may not be the brightest thing to do, but it certainly would be the most luxurious, and indulgent thing you could do, and perhaps worth the early grave you’d be heading if you ate it more than four times a year. But what the hell do I know? When I was in Italy I ate it all the time, and I’m still here to oink about it.
In Frascati it was all over the place, street venders and butchers stood proudly behind their mammoth Porcehttas that were as big as pigs, four to five feet long, slices big as dinner plates- –crispy on the outside, moist, amazing in the middle…sublime…
In Orvieto, I found one in a butcher shop, it was the star attraction, and I’m a stargazer, so I went back three times, and walked through the street like some untamed beast chopping away, people pointed and laughed at me- -herby, soft in the middle, outrageously delicious… -Yes, to die for, hand me the sword.
In Rome I found it in market across from where I lived, they kept it in a glass case. I’d spend my afternoons ogling at it- -seasoned with orange peel and fennel seeds, tangy and scrumptious… I ate it more than I should have…whatever.
It’s easy to make, the only annoying thing is that you have to dry the skin out for a few days in the refrigerator, but I’ll get to that, stay calm it’s worth the wait.
So buy a pork belly, skin-on, and a pork loin. Most butchers at your market will butterfly the loin for you. And while you’re at it, ask them for some twine.
Lay the pork loin on top of the pork belly. Now chop up fresh rosemary, sage, parsley, and garlic, rub it inside the pork loin, then get some fennel seeds, some orange zest (optional) hot peppers flakes and sprinkle it on top of the herbs, press that stuff in. Now tightly roll that baby up, tie it with butcher’s twine, each tie should be about an inch apart.
Put it on a rack and under a plate or pan, let it sit in the frig overnight, ideally though, it should sit for 3 days, the dryer the skin, the better. As moisture extracts from the skin, dry it off with a paper towel You definitely want to get the skin dry so it will puff and crisp. You can also rub baking soda on the skin, this will help speed up the process. -Warning! Don’t use too much baking soda, it will make the outside taste a tad funky.
Heat your oven to 500. Put the Porchetta on a rack, salt it heavily, but don’t go crazy (I use sea salt). Roast it until the skins puffs and get crispy, about 20 to 30 minutes. Lower the heat to about 325. Depending on the size, it might take about 2 hours or longer to reach the internal temperature of 145. Make sure you tent it with foil if the skin starts to burn. When done, take it out, let it sit for a half hour, then dig in… –And yup, I told you so…