Porchetta (Rolled Pork) is a popular dish in Italy, listed by Anthony Bourdain as a must-try when you are in Rome. This fatty, savory, moist, boneless pork roast is a common street food in the city, and is usually served as a pizza bianca (a plain pizza dough) filling. Pizza bianca is quite handy especially for someone who has little time left for eating (though this seems to be a bad situation if you are in a city like Rome). It’s great for hungry tourists who like to wander around the ancient city while filling their tummies at the same time.
This dish is going to be a part of my Christmas Dinner Menu 2014. This awesome looking dish is a great addition to my holiday table. It’s definitely easier to carve than roasted turkey or roasted chicken. Best of all, it’s cheaper compared to turkey or Christmas ham. And if you have leftovers, no worries because they are perfect for making luscious sandwiches!
In the Philippines, lechon (or whole pig roasted using charcoal) is usually served during family reunions and big gatherings. Porchetta is almost similar except that it is smaller and caters for small families or gatherings.
- 2 kg pork belly (try to cut into two slices or butterfly it in between the skin and the meat portion)
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh rosemary, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves peeled, crushed and minced
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons plus 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup Olive oil 1 tablespoon
- 1 Lemon zest
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix the parsley, rosemary, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt, pepper, lemon zest and olive oil.
- Lay the pork belly skin side up. Using a sharp knife (or utility knife), carefully score the skin with a “tic-tac-toe” pattern, diamond pattern or just a simple cutting pattern, cutting down to the fat but not through it (about 1/4 inch deep).
- Flip the belly over, skin side down and spread with remaining herb mixture.
- Roll pork away from you to form a cylindrical shape; tie with kitchen twine at 1-inch intervals.
- Transfer the porchetta to a wire rack, set in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. Sprinkle a light layer of salt on top. Refrigerate the pork uncovered overnight.
- Before putting into the oven, let the pork settle to room temperature for 1-2 hours. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil.
- Preheat oven to 235C/450F degree.
- Roast the porchetta for 45 minutes. Then turn down the heat to 165C/325F about 2- 2 1/2 hours.
- Remove from oven and let it rest for 30 minutes before slicing.