How to roast a porchetta
A rare breed belly porchetta is one of the heroes of the sharing table. Slow-cooked over a couple of hours and only needing a bright salad and crusty bread rolls to serve, it's the ultimate in laidback catering. Beachport Berkshires and Glen Eyrie Farm supply us with exceptional pork, and the belly is generously seasoned with fennel seed, garlic, chilli, parsley and lemon, before being rolled and trussed, ready to slow roast. The key is to make sure the skin is completely dry, it's massaged with plenty of sea salt and loads of quality olive oil. You can find our fail-safe method below.
Please note, we recommend the same amount of cooking time for all weights of porchetta.
Preparing the roast
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Make sure the porchetta is completely dry. We often leave our porchettas uncovered in the fridge over night.
Score the porchetta into the skin and fat, 1cm apart. Alternatively, our butchers can do this for you.
Drizzle a generous amount of olive oil over the scored porchetta. Massage the oil into the skin.
Season the porchetta generously with Murray River sea salt, rubbing the salt evenly into the incisions.
Roasting the porchetta
Place the porchetta onto a wire rack that nestles into the baking tray and then into the preheated oven. It's ideal to have as much space as possible around the porchetta for the air to evenly circulate, creating crisp crackling.
Add a splash of water to the base of the roasting dish.
Roast the porchetta for two hours.
Increase the temperature of the oven to 220C then roast the porchetta for a further 30 minutes so that the crackling forms.
Resting and carving the porchetta
Once you have achieved the crunchiest of crackling, remove the porchetta from the oven.
Place it on a board and allow the porchetta to rest uncovered for 30 minutes.
After 30 minutes resting, remove the trussing string from the porchetta.
Using a sharp carving knife, slice the porchetta into 2cm rounds.
Serve one slice of porchetta per person with dressed leaves and Meatsmith mustard.
Porchetta is the Italian word to describe a boneless suckling pig. It’s typically stuffed with herbs and slow roasted. Described by Elizabeth David as having an almost "medieval presence" at many Italian gatherings. There is a reason that crowds flock when they smell a porchetta roasting - certainly, the glory of a porchetta, golden with crackling and radiating with fragrance, would make any medieval court sing.
We stuff Tamworth rare-breed pork bellies with fennel seeds, garlic, dried chilli, lemon zest and parsley before rolling them into a spiral and trussing. While the cooking of this belly takes minimal effort from you, for best results it deserves a slow cook.
The word, ‘porchetta,’ describes a small pig in the Italian language. The dish originates from central Italy, most likely from a little town in Lazio called Ariccia. Recipes date back to the 12th century where porchetta would be the centrepiece of a celebration feast. Traditionally, the meat would be cooked in pits underground but today it is generally slow roasted in the oven. Still to this day, cooked and seasoned porchetta is a popular street food in Ariccia, throughout Umbria and enjoyed in sandwiches.
How to make porchetta?
Making porchetta is one of our favourite activities here at Meatsmith. We take a rare breed pork belly and butterfly it before generously seasoning the meat with fennel seed, garlic, chilli, lemon zest, salt, pepper and parsley.
What to serve with porchetta
Porchetta is delicious served as part of a Sunday roast spread with gravy, potato gratin and a shaved fennel salad - we also love the leftovers stuffed into bread rolls dressed with a vibrant herb sauce.