Crispy Roasted All-Belly Porchetta
Rich, succulent pork seasoned with aromatic spices and herbs — what more can you ask for? Oh yeah, crispy skin. It’s got that, too. Porchetta has it all, including a long-storied past, weaving its way from the old world to the new, with many evolutions in preparation along the way.
Of the many interpretations of this Italian standard, this all-belly version is our favorite. It’s easy, only calls for one cut of meat (and doesn’t involve deboning an entire baby pig.)
Instead of shopping for all of the individual spices and herbs involved in this pork centerpiece, pick up a bottle of The Usual All-Purpose Blend. This seasoning has everything you need, including salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary, lemon and cayenne. Just add some fresh sage and fennel fronds to make nonna think you actually put some effort in 😉
Crispy & Succulent All-Belly Porchetta
Call a local butcher and ask if they carry skin-on pork belly. Chances are, they do and it’s usually pretty cheap. If you’re feeding more than six people, consider picking up a larger slab.
For the most flavorful results, you can prepare the porchetta in advance, wrapping and refrigerating the roll for up to three days. We’re too excited to wait, so the directions below are in real time. Regardless, the results are guaranteed to please your friends and fam.
Oh, and for you backyard chefs — yes, you can make this on a grill or smoker, just follow the suggested temperatures and cook with indirect heat.
2-3 pound slab of skin-on pork belly
The Usual All-Purpose Blend
1 cup chopped sage
2-3 cups of loose Fennel fronds
Preheat oven to 300°F.
Lay out pork belly and with a sharp knife, lightly score the skin in a checkerboard pattern, with cuts about 1-½ inches apart. Try to not cut through the skin.
Flip the belly over and score the flesh about a half-inch deep in a checkerboard pattern about 1-½ inches apart. Do not cut through the belly.
Generously season the meat-side of the belly with The Usual. Allow the seasoning to penetrate the cuts.
Evenly distribute the chopped sage and fennel fronds on top.
Tightly roll the belly up lengthwise. Tuck in the meat that may hang out of the sides.
Grab a friend and ask them to help you secure the roll with butcher’s string.
Place the roll on a wire rack in a large roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast until the internal temperature of the pork reaches 160°F, about 2 hours, basting with pan drippings every 30 minutes.
Continue roasting until the inside of the pork is tender. Check by poking through the skin with a small knife or skewer. If there is resistance, continue roasting for up to two hours.
When the pork is tender, increase the oven temperature to 500°F to allow the skin to crisp and blister. Monitor the progress carefully and do not leave the pork unattended while crisping.
Pull when skin is golden brown, crisped and blistered. Allow to cool for up to 30 minutes before slicing.