Christmas Porchetta

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    8 to 10

Appears in

Home Made Christmas

Home Made Christmas

By Yvette van Boven

Published 2018

  • About

Beware: The roast needs to be cooked in the oven for more than 3 hours, so plan accordingly. The result will be quite something, though. Yes, it’s very fatty meat, but that’s what makes this so delicious. This dish is impossible to ruin; if you leave it in the oven for 30 minutes too long it won’t matter. Serve with something fresh-zesty. I like the horseradish mustard, for example. And the beets found on the same page also go great with this porchetta.

Such a substantial roulade serves a crowd, and whatever you have left over (if you manage to not finish all of it) will still be delicious the day after.

Ingredients

  • 1 pork belly (at least pounds/2 kg), without rind
  • Salt and Sichuan or black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the roasting pan

For the Filling

  • 5 teaspoons coarse sea salt, plus some extra
  • 3 tablespoons Sichuan or black peppercorns, crushed in a mortar
  • 1 large bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley (about 1¾ ounces/50 g), coarsely chopped
  • 1 bunch thyme, finely chopped
  • Leaves from 6 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • Grated zest of 2 oranges
  • Seeds from 6 to 8 cardamom pods, crushed in a mortar
  • 6 small cloves garlic, minced
  • About ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (80 g) hazelnuts, briefly toasted in a skillet, coarsely chopped

Also Needed

  • Kitchen twine: cut 8 (12-inch/30-cm) pieces

Method

Prepare

Place the meat on a cutting board, skin side facing up. Use a sharp knife to score the fat, making shallow cuts spaced about ⅓ inch (8 mm) apart. Turn the pork belly over. Sprinkle with salt and some Sichuan peppercorn.

Combine all ingredients for the filling and spread it out over the meat. Tightly roll up the meat and carefully tie it together using the pieces of kitchen twine you have ready. Start in the middle, then tie up the ends, then tie twine in the spaces between.

Rub the outside of your roulade with salt and Sichuan peppercorn as well. Refrigerate until ready to roast. You can do this a day early so the meat will marinate even better.

Make

Remove the meat from the fridge at least an hour in advance, allowing it to reach room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C).

Grease a roasting pan with some oil and put in the roulade. Roast for 20 minutes, lower the temperature to 300°F (150°C), and thoroughly cover the roulade with aluminum foil. Cook for another 2½ hours. Remove the foil and baste the meat with the liquid from the roasting pan. Cook uncovered for about 15 minutes more, until the crust has nicely browned.

Remove the porchetta from the roasting pan and let rest on a carving board for 15 minutes. Sometimes it’s pretty stuck so you may have to carefully pry it loose from the pan. Cut into thin slices. Eat warm or cold.