- Yield: 4-6
- Prep Time: 13h 00 min
- Cook Time: 4h 40 min
Porchetta with Roasted Potatoes
This is no dish for people watching their calories. Even though a lot of the fat from the pork belly renders out during the cooking, a good part still remains in the finished dish, making it both very scrumptious and unfit for a diet. But who cares about diets, when the smell of a Porchetta slowly roasting away is filling your kitchen on a cold and rainy fall afternoon.
The recipe is slightly altered from Huw Thorton's who published it on Chowhound, and works probably better as a weekend dish, unless you get off work early or can work from home. My alterations adds a bit spice with the red pepper flakes, changes the herbs to thyme which I love with pork, and brings in coriander seeds with their also slightly citrusy flavor. It requires overnight curing and about 5 hours total time in and out the oven until you can finally harvest the fruit of your labor. The recipe below will easily feed 4 people and leave you with seconds for delicious Porchetta sandwiches the next day.
I strongly believe, this roast makes a great alternative to turkey on your Thanksgiving table. This is probably the German talking, but my experience is that nobody really cares much for the turkey and there are tons of leftover - mostly dry - white meat. Wouldn't it be better to have all the fantastic side dishes of Thanksgiving and this roast??
- For the Porchetta
- Pork Belly - about 4 pounds, skin on
- Kosher Salt - 1 tbsp + 1 tsp
- Baking Soda - 1 tsp
- Garlic - 4 cloves, sliced
- Lemon - 1, zested
- Fennel Pollen - 1 tbsp (Fennel Seed work as well)
- Thyme - 2 sprigs
- Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes - 1/2 tsp
- Black Pepper - 1 tbsp
- For the Potatoes
- Potatoes - 2 lbs
- Rosemary - fresh, 1 sprig
- Pepper - to taste
- Tools needed
- Kitchen String
- New Razor Blade
- Clean the pork belly and rub the baking soda into the skin side. This will help blistering and crisping the skin to perfection.
- Flip over and rub the salt onto the meat side.
- Put onto a baking sheet with a rim and put it - skin side up - into the fridge overnight.
- The next day, take the pork belly out of the fridge and let come to room temperature. This will make it softer and thus easier to roll up.
- Use a moist paper towel to wash the baking soda off the skin and then use more paper towels to pat it dry.
- With the razor blade, cut the skin in a diamond pattern without cutting into the fat. You can go as wide or narrow as you like.
- Chop the thyme, slice the garlic, zest the lemon, and coarsely grind coriander seeds (and fennel seeds if using), and distribute the spices over the entire meat side of the pork belly.
- Roll up the pork belly, so the skin is facing outside. Use a strong kitchen twine to tie the roast together. Make sure it stays nicely together but not too tight as the meat expands during cooking.
- Put on a rack and into a roasting pan lined with aluminium foil for easy cleanup, and cook in a preheated oven at 400° F for 40 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 325° and continue roasting for 3 1/2 hours.
- After 3 hours, peel the potatoes and cut them into wedges. Put into the bottom of the pan together with the finely minced rosemary and some freshly ground black pepper and toss in the drippings from the roast. Do not add salt, yet. Stir potatoes every 15 minutes.
- When the 3 1/2 hours are over, raise the temperature to 500° F. Keep roasting for 20 to 30 minutes until the skin is nicely blistered and crackles.
- Take the roast out of the oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Drain the potatoes, add salt if needed, and keep them warm in the turned off oven until serving.
- Cut into slices, using a very sharp knife. It can be hard to get through the skin, so one option is to remove the cracklings, cut the roast and then serve with the cracklings sprinkled on top.
- Serve with the potatoes or the next day as sandwiches with some arugula, spicy aioli or mustard.