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Pork Belly Porchetta

Pork Belly Porchetta with Roasted Pears, Fennel and Onion

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This porchetta is everything that’s good about food all rolled into one crispy, herby, succulent flavour bomb.

  • Makes : 4-6 |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 12:20 hours |
  • Cook Time : 2:0 hours
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Pork Belly & Filling

1.7 – 2 kg pork belly, butterflied open (ask your butcher to do this for you if possible)
⅓ C (80 ml) olive oil
1 large apple, grated
a big handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped
a big handful of fresh sage, chopped
a big handful of fresh chives, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh thyme, chopped
2 Tbsp (30 ml) fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp (15 ml) Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp (10 ml) fennel seeds, toasted
2 tsp (10 ml) chilli flakes
zest of one lemon
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Vegetables

olive oil
4 large fennel bulbs, quartered
4 pears, quartered
2-3 red onions, quartered
2-3 pieces of fresh thyme, picked
5-6 sage leaves
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Lay the pork belly skin side up and using a craft knife or a very sharp knife score the skin with straight lines in 1 cm metre intervals. Ensure that you cut all the way through the skin but not into the meat layer. Flip the pork belly skin side down and open up the butterflied section of meat.

In a large bowl add the olive oil, apple, parsley, sage, chives, thyme, rosemary, mustard, garlic and fennel seeds and then mix well to combine. Spoon the mixture onto the belly meat in an even layer, about 1 cm from the border.

Sprinkle over the chilli flakes and lemon zest and then season with salt and pepper. Rotate the belly vertically so that the butterflied meat section is closest to you and just like you’d roll up a sleeping bag, roll the belly up until the skin ends meet. Place the roll with the seam side down then tie the belly with butcher’s string, about 6 pieces should do it.

Pat the skin dry with a piece of kitchen towel and then pop the belly roll into the fridge uncovered overnight to dry out the skin. This will ensure you have the crispiest of crackling.

The Next Day

Remove the belly roll from the fridge at least 2 hours before roasting so that it can come up to room temperature.

Preheat your oven to 230 ºC, or as hot as it will go. If you have a convection oven then use the convection setting.

Gently pull the scores on the skin apart and pack them with sea salt, then season the rest of the roll and rub the salt into the skin. Brush the entire roll with sunflower oil and pop it onto a rack and into the oven for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes reduce the heat to 170 ºC and switch to the conventional oven setting if you have the option. Roast the pork for 1 ½ hours.

Prepare your veggies and pears for roasting by adding all of them to a roasting tray. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with some freshly picked thyme and a few whole sage leaves. At the 1 hour mark of the pork roasting, pop the pan with the veggies into the oven with the pork.

At the 1 ½ hour mark remove the pork and check the internal temperature. You are aiming for 60-65 ºC internal temperature. Remove the pork from the oven to rest for 20 minutes then turn the oven up to 220 ºC to finish the veggies and pears, they should be soft, golden and caramelised. Slice the porchetta and serve with the veggies on the side.