Traditional Porchetta by Chef Rachel Barnett
The origin of this dish is still uncertain, but the inhabitants of Ariccia (a small town in Rome) claim porchetta’s origin, as the Prisci Latin priests have prepared porchetta once a year to celebrate the birth of the Latin League for the past 3,000 years. Chef Rachel Barnett shares her own interpretation of the dish with this delicious recipe; she recommends cutting the porchetta about an inch in thickness and serving with a charred lemon. Buon appetito!
- Servings 8
- Dish Main
- Time 38 HOURS
- Skill Home Cooks
PORK BELLY CURE ingredients
PORCHETTA ASSEMBLE & COOK ingredients
PORK BELLY CURE
Over a small mixing bowl, use a microplane to zest the rinds of the orange until all zest has been removed. Reserve until ready for use.
Measure out all remaining ingredients separately.
Place salt, sugar, chili, fennel seed, oregano, black pepper, garlic and orange zest in the bowl of a food processor with the blade attached. Secure lid onto food processor bowl and process until all ingredients are finely chopped and combined.
Once cure is ready, set aside until pork has been prepped.
PORCHETTA ASSEMBLE & COOK
Start by laying the pork belly skin-side down. Lay the loin in the middle of the belly and ensure that the belly will wrap all the way around the loin before rolling the porchetta. If the belly does not completely enclose the loin, you can trim the loin a small amount and/or butterfly the belly to give it some extension to wrap entirely around the loin.
With the loin and belly separate, flip the belly onto your work surface skin-side up. Using a sharp chef's knife, score the skin. When scoring the skin, it is important not to cut too deep; rather, you want to penetrate the skin enough so the fat will render nicely when cooking.
After the skin has been scored, generously massage the salt/seasoning cure into the skin. Once the skin has been coated, flip the belly and repeat on the other side. Massage the cure into the meat, making sure to cover all surfaces. Repeat the same process with the loin. Massage the loin with the cure until all areas have been evenly coated.
Line two sheet trays, each with a rack. On one rack, place the belly skin-side up. On the other rack, place the loin.
Place both sheet trays containing meat in the refrigerator and allow to sit for 24 hours.
After the meat has cured at least 24 hours, remove from the refrigerator. Using water (or bourbon), rinse both the belly and loin, removing the cure. Place the meat onto clean sheet trays lined with racks. Again, belly should be skin-side up.
Place both sheet trays containing meat in the refrigerator for one more hour.
After an hour, remove from the refrigerator. Using Chix towels (or paper towels), pat dry any moisture left on the meat.
Place the dry pork belly onto a clean work surface with the skin side facing down. Very carefully dust and coat the flesh of the belly with Activa. Gently place the dry loin in the center of the belly. Roll the edges of the belly around the loin and tie using butcher's twine.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the salt with the baking soda and mix well. Using a gloved hand, massage this cure/baking soda mixture only on the skin of the belly.
Place the porchetta on a sheet tray lined with a rack, seam facing down. Place in the refrigerator and allow to sit overnight, at least 12 hours.
The next day, remove the tied porchetta from the refrigerator and allow to sit at room temperature for one hour prior to placing in the oven.
Place the sheet tray with the porchetta in a pre-heated oven at 475 degrees F for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes at the initial high cooking temperature, transfer the porchetta to an oven set at 275 degrees F and cook for 3 hours, or until the internal temperature of the pork loin is 140 degrees F.
Once the porchetta has finished cooking, carefully remove from the oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes before serving.