So, I was recently hanging out over on Portland Food Group (if you live in PDX and dig good food, you should too), and someone posted about looking for porchetta in Portland. Another member posted a picture of one porchetta that could be found in town and I decided that this looked simply too delectable not to be my next home cooking project.
As I usually do when cooking something for the first time, I scoured the Internets for four to eight recipes to see how folks have been making them. I like to take the common elements and use that as my “base recipe” and then pick out the unique ideas that sound best from each variation. One of these, which I tried, was brining the loin first. I thought this made it too salty so I omitted the brine from my final recipe. Often I’ll add an twist or two of my own, too. For instance, no one else was roll-cutting and stuffing the loin with extra herbs, but this seemed like a great idea to me, and I believe it was. Below is my recipe, with pictures at the end.
Note: Pork belly should be of a size that can be trimmed to fully wrap the pork loin, ideally with a couple inches on one of the short ends to spare. For this reason, it is also recommended that you get your pork loin from the skinnier end to keep the final size manageable. Also, while there are more delicious things to do with pork belly scraps than could possibly be listed here, I used mine to make red-cooked pork belly, which was pretty tasty.
To prepare spice paste, toast first five ingredients until fragrant. Crush lightly with mortar and pestle or spice/coffee grinder (don’t grind to fine powder). Combine with other ingredients to make a wet mixture.
Cut belly to fit around loin when rolled. Leave 2 inch flap of skin on one end of belly. Make ½ inch deep slashes on inside of belly. Roll-cut pork loin. Rub inside of loin and belly with spices. Roll loin and place on belly. Roll belly and tie at 1-2 inch intervals. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1-3 days.
Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temp (2-3 hours). Preheat oven to 325°. Place seam up on rack in roasting pan and roast for 30 minutes. Flip seam side down and roast to internal temp of 135° (2-3 hrs). Remove and rest on rack for 30 minutes. Internal temp should rise to 150°. Slice and serve (you may want to use a serrated knife to cut through the crisp skin).
Photos (click to enlarge):
Yeah, so I’m relaunching my blog. w00t! I doubt it’ll get updated much more often than the last one, but hope springs eternal…
As you geeks may have noticed, I’m on WordPress now. Shoulda been the first time around too. Oh well, live and learn.