Time: 4 hrs 30 min
When it comes to a special-occasion main course, it doesn’t get more timeless or show-stopping than porchetta.
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds
6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup roughly chopped fennel fronds (from one bulb)
1 tablespoon plus 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 1/2 pounds pork belly with skin attached
3 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin with fat cap
3 pounds fingerling potatoes
1 large rosemary sprig
Special equipment: Butcher’s twine, large roasting pan
Preheat oven to 350°F and position rack in the lowest position.
Toast fennel seeds in a small skillet over high heat until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Transfer to cutting board along with garlic, fennel fronds, salt, and pepper and finely chop together. Transfer mixture to a small bowl and stir in oil.
Lay pork belly on cutting board, skin side down. Holding a large sharp knife parallel to the cutting board, split the belly in half, being careful not to cut all the way through the opposite end. Open the split belly like a book and spread fennel-garlic mixture all over. Place pork loin at the end of the skinless side of the belly, and tightly roll the belly around the loin, forming a roast. The skin should almost wrap the roast completely. Using butchers’ string, tightly tie the roast at 1-inch intervals.
Transfer the porchetta to a large roasting pan and roast for 1 1/2 hours. Remove the pan from the oven and add the potatoes and rosemary. Season with salt and toss the potatoes in the pan juices to coat. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of roast registers 165°F and potatoes are tender, about 2 hours more.
Let the porchetta rest for 20 minutes before slicing.
MR. PORTER AND MS. CHARLES CULINARY CRAVINGS
Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. But, it takes two to tango so stay tuned to see who will master the steam oven first, or whether Mr. Porter or Ms. Charles comes up with the best new recipes.
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