All-belly Porchetta

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Preparation info

  • Serves

    8-10

    • Difficulty

      Medium

    • Ready in

      38 hr

Appears in

At Home with Sous Vide

At Home with Sous Vide

By Dale Prentice

Published 2013

  • About

J. Kenji López-Alt has created a dish that is just to die for—a blend of juicy sweet-spiced pork wrapped in a thin, crisp crust of crackling. But be warned, this is as rich as it is moreish.

Ingredients

Pork belly

  • ½ boneless rind-on pork belly (approx. 3 kg)
  • 1 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • tablespoons fennel seeds
  • salt
  • ½ tablespoon mild chilli flakes
  • tablespoons finely chopped rosemary, sage or thyme leaves
  • 6 garlic cloves, grated on a microplane
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • oil, for deep-frying

    Method

    Pork belly

    Preheat water bath to 68°C/155°F.

    Place pork belly skin-side down on a large cutting board, and use a sharp knife to score the flesh on an angle, about 2.5 cm apart. Rotate the knife 90 degrees, and repeat, creating a crosshatch pattern.

    In a small skillet, toast the peppercorns and fennel seeds over medium-high heat until lightly browned and aromatic (about 2 minutes). Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder, and grind to a coarse powder. Season pork liberally with salt, then sprinkle with the crushed pepper and fennel seeds, mild chilli flakes, chopped herbs and garlic. Wearing food-handler gloves, use your hands to rub the mixture deeply into the cracks and crevices in the meat. Roll belly into a tight log and push to the top of the cutting board, seam-side down.

    Cut 12 lengths of kitchen string long enough to tie around the pork. Place the string along your cutting board, at regular 3 cm-apart intervals. Place the rolled pork seam-side down on top of string and, working from the outermost strings, tightly tie up the roast. Combine kosher salt with baking powder, and rub mixture over the entire surface of the rolled pork. Place the rolled pork into a large vacuum pouch (or cut it in half and use 2 separate vacuum pouches), and seal on high. Cook in the preheated water bath for 36 hours. If making ahead, cool using the three-stage cooling method after cooking. (The juices will set to a hard jelly when cold and must be peeled off before frying. To create a decadent sauce, this jelly can be reduced, then removed from heat and a little butter added.)

    Rest the cooked pork at room temperature for 10 minutes in the vacuum pouch, then remove the roll and deep-fry at 180°C/356°F until the skin is very crisp and blistered. (The pork will pop and splutter during frying, so ensure you take appropriate precautions.)