Introduction: Porchetta - the Ultimate Pork Dish

Porchetta is considered the ultimate pork dish by most Italians.   Traditionally made from whole boned hogs, this porchetta is made from readily available cuts.  Use the best pork though for the best flavor.  I strongly suggest buying your pork from Fox Valley Berkshires ( .  Berkshire hogs are considered the best "bacon" hogs in the world and Fox Valley's are organically grown.

Step 1: Spices

Spice mixture is key to a traditional Porchetta.  Everything BUT the garlic should be ground together into a smooth mixture.

12 cloves garlic

2T fennel

2T crushed red pepper

2T rosemary

1T black pepper

1T thyme

2T chile powder

1T mustard

3T salt

1T sugar

2t cumin

Step 2: Dressing the Pork Products

Obtain a 5-6 pount pork loin and a skin on pork belly.  Pork Belly is uncured bacon - which means it is just this side of perfection.  The cut of pork belly should be as long as the pork loin and wide enough to wrap completely around the loin.  When you first buy them they will look like (pciture 1).  Lay the pork belly flat and trim to an even thickness (picture 2 and 3).  Take care in trimming the belly.  The meat that you trim off of the belly makes great pork stew.  Trim length to match length of the loin.(picture 4)

Step 3: Trim Width of Belly

Trim the width of the Belly to fit around your pork loin

Step 4: Season the Pork Belly

The seasonings that you prepared in Step one should now be applied to the pork belly.  During the roasting of the porchetta, the juices of the prok belly will take the spices deeply into the loin for full flavor.  DO NOT over apply the seasonings.  Too thick is too much.  You will have spice mixture left over - all the better to make another porchetta later!

After applying the dry mixture, dot the surface with the 12 cloves of garlic.  Make sure that they are mashed in a garlic press to release their full flavor

Step 5: Wrap the Porchetta

Roll the pork belly tightly around the pork loin and then wrap tightly with as many layers of plastic wrap as are necessary to make sure that it won't leak in the refrigerator.  Let rest at least one (1) day.  Picture 3 shows how a tightly rolled Porchetta should look.

After letting rest for at least one day, and no more than three - this isn't a cured pork product - remove the rolled pork from the plastic wrap and truss with butcher's twine to keep it wrapped tightly during the roasting process. Trussing not shown.

Step 6: Roast the Porchetta

Let the roast come up to room temperature and then place in an oven which is pre-warmed to 450 degrees.  Roast for 30 minutes at 450 degrees.  Reduce heat to 350 degrees for 15 minutes per pound.  Pull roast when internal temperature is at 155 degrees.  Let rest for 20 minutes. DO NOT cut prior to that.

The outside skin should be mahogany in color and crackley hard.  Use a sharp serrated blade to cut through the skin crust.

Step 7: Serving Suggestions

As shown, the crust  nice and brown.  Make a gravy with the drippings - not shown.  It will be the best pork you will EVER have. 

Other suggestions -

In Spain they have a dish called Cochinillo.  substitute simple Salt and Black Pepper for the spice mixture for Cochinillo

In Germany they have a similar dish, "schaufele" - substitute a good quality spicy mustard for the spice mixture.