With the weather cooler and a new baby keeping us close to home, my kitchen has gotten plenty of attention. Afternoons are spent simmering stock, making hearty soups, or on a recent weekend rolling a boned out pork butt in two pounds of skin on pork belly, tying it, and roasting it.
The basic recipe comes from the kitchen of a Mano and if you have a few moments this holiday season, you might find this the perfect replacement to a prime rib or turkey. I served this on a Sunday for a lazy brunch with a salad of shaved brussel sprouts and a poached egg. Imagine an Italian version of salade lyonnaise, that is a pretty sexy image.
2 pound skin on pork belly (Check with Bill Ryals at the Crescent City Farmer's Market)
3 pounds of pork butt, boned and butterflied
The zest of 2 Satsumas
2 tablespoons of fennel seed
2 tablespoons of chili flake
2 tablespoons of kosher salt
1 tablespoon of black pepper
1 head of roasted garlic
Toast the fennel. In a mortar and pestle, add the toasted fennel seed and crush. Add this to the chili flake, salt, and satsuma zest. Mix to combine.
Lay on a clean surface, your pork belly skin side down. On the flesh side, spread a layer of your spice rub and rub in to the meat. Lay your pork butt on top of the pork belly and season it with a layer of the spice mixture.
Down the center of the pork butt, lay as many cloves of roasted garlic as you like. Tightly roll up the pork belly and butt and truss. Some of the butt will peek out the ends of the porchetta. Feel free to trim it up or leave it. Your call. Now take a tablespoon of baking powder and mix this with an additional tablespoon of kosher salt. Sprinkle this over the skin of the pork belly, it will help it crisp.
Now park this beautiful roll of deliciousness in the fridge overnight, covered. Remove the pork from the oven for about an hour before tossing into a preheated 375 degree oven for four hours. After four hours, remove from the oven, and crank it to broil. Let the pork rest for 15 minutes or so. Add back to the oven and watch carefully for the skin to puff and crisp.
Slice into rounds and place on top of the salad of your choice. Add a poached egg and let bacon and eggs become immortal.