Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Porchetta James

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
Baking Powder

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.


Maddog said...

Very impressive Rene.

thomas cook said...

did you buy your shuns yourself or get them as a wedding gift? I'm hoping the ladder. I registered for the whole set.

Rene said...

Not a Shun. Mac Pro Series. A set of knives is a waste of money, come on Thomas, you know that.

nikinik said...

Damn, that looks amazing!

Matthew Colosino said...

looks good man.

that satsuma zest sounds like a winner. i will have to give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

Holy Porky Pig.

Anonymous said...

I looked at this recipe and loved it. Been thinking about it everyday since posted. I have an idea and wanted some thoughts. With Thanksgiving around the corner, I thought maybe I could give this dish a "turduken twist". How about putting some tasso in the center so we would have three layers of pork? Throw some more spice to it to kick up the heat level. Gonna have to be careful with the level of salt I think. Put it on the smoker over some pecan wood for a while. Then bring it in the house and let the broiler finish the belly for a few minutes. Thought of maybe finishing it with some homemade fig or peach preserves mixed with a bit of brandy and reduced down a bit. Thoughts?

Rene said...


It sounds good, but I worry about not only the salt level but just how long it would take to smoke it. I would think you are looking at 6-8 hours at least. But give it a whirl and let us know how it turns out.

Davis Cranford III said...

Rene, Does Billy Ryals usually have the skin on pork bellies at the market, or is it something that should be called ahead for? If not him, who else would have them? Wanting to try this over Tgiving. Thanks, looks awesome!

Blackened Out said...


I got it from Ryals on a Saturday with no notice and skin on!