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Recipe

Eataly's Porchetta

Featured in our 2017 Christmas Guide
Evan Sung

Servings: 16 to 20

Traditionally, porchetta is made with a whole saddle of pork with the belly meat still attached, which weighs forty or fifty pounds. For this version, an adaptation of Eataly’s, you buy the same meat—the loin and the belly—separately, and then wrap them together to make a much smaller roast. This recipe makes two roasts. Porchetta makes great sandwiches so leftovers are a good thing.

Ingredients

For the fennel rub

  • 3/4 cup fennel seeds
  • 3/4 cup black peppercorns
  • 3/4 cup kosher salt

For the pork

  • 1 (8-inch-long) center cut boneless pork loin (about 3-1/2 lb.)
  • 2 (8-inch) pork bellies (about 5 lb. each)
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. kosher salt

Preparation

Make the fennel rub

  • In a medium skillet, toast the fennel seeds over high heat, shaking the pan to keep the seeds from burning, until they’re fragrant, about 1 minute. Transfer the seeds to a plate to cool completely. Working in batches, grind the fennel seeds and the peppercorns in a spice grinder until they are finely ground. Transfer them to a bowl and stir in the salt.

Make the pork

  • Cut the loin down the middle to make two long narrow loins. With the blade of your knife parallel with the cutting board, cut both bellies horizontally through the middle leaving one side attached. Open the bellies like a book and lay them flat, skin side down. Use a rubber spatula to spread the rub evenly over the surface of both bellies. Lay one of the pork loins on each belly so that the long side of the loin is flush with one of the 8-inch sides of the belly. Roll one of the loins tightly so the belly completely covers it. Use butcher’s rope to tie the porchetta about 1 inch from one edge. Do the same to the other end, then continue tying about 1 inch apart until you reach the center. Roll and tie the second loin in the same way. Rub 1 Tbs. of the oil and sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the salt over each porchetta. Wrap both porchettas tightly in plastic wrap or put them in a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate them for 24 hours or at least overnight.
  • When you’re ready to roast the porchettas, preheat the oven to 400°F.
  • Put the porchettas on a rack in a roasting pan and roast until a meat thermometer inserted into the center of the porchettas registers 135°F, about 2-1/2 hours. Remove the porchettas from the oven and adjust the oven temperature to broil. Return the porchettas to the oven and broil until the skin is golden and crispy, about 8 minutes; use tongs to turn the porchettas every 2 minutes so the skin crisps all over. Let the porchettas rest for about 15 minutes before slicing.
  • Slice the porchetta however thick you want. Leave the butcher’s rope on; it will help to hold the porchetta together as you cut it. Serve it just like that or put the porchetta on a crusty roll for a delicious sandwich.

Tip

In order to have the belly wrap around the loin, you need to be sure your butcher cuts the loin and the belly to exactly 8 inches. You will roll and tie the two together after you’ve seasoned them, but they need to fit together.

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