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 (foxvalleyberkshire.com) . Berkshire hogs are considered the best "bacon" hogs in the world and Fox Valley's are organically grown.
Step 1: Spices
12 cloves garlic
2T crushed red pepper
1T black pepper
2T chile powder
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.