This porchetta consists of fragrant flavors such as garlic, fresh rosemary, thyme, and sage. The outside offers a beautifully crisp skin with a more tender succulent meat on the inside rolled with a traditional filling. This recipe requires patience and a little prep, but is incredibly rewarding when you slice through the crust into the first juicy slice.
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When it comes to timeless recipes, a rolled pork roast is as classic a main meal as it gets, and this is the epitome of that.
With its aromatic filling and tender, juicy meat, this is the best porchetta recipe to hone your skills on. To master this iconic dish does require some hands-on work and time, but it’s not hard. And once you slice into it, you will understand why it was all worth it.
Pork belly slow cooked breaks down while slow roasting, retaining it’s juiciness as the fat renders and makes incredibly succulent meat. This is what dreams are made of if you are a big fan of a delicious pork belly recipe. This slow roasted pork belly is imbued with tons of aromatic herbs and garlic, creating the most fragrant scent and flavor in the first bite.
Traditional porchetta recipes make a great main dish for special dinner parties or holiday meal, but you can make pork roast any time of year when you want a meal that is sure to impress.
With this delicious recipe, you are sure to be the best home cook in the family! One of the best parts about pork porchetta is that the next day leftovers make the perfect roasted pork belly porchetta sandwich! It’s the perfect excuse to indulge in even more delicious pork loin roast.
What Is Porchetta?
Traditionally, porchetta (also known as porketta) is an Italian culinary tradition consisting of pork roast filleted and filled with a stuffing of garlic and fresh herbs, then rolled before cooking. A classic porchetta roast has a crispy skin with a more tender and savory inside.
However, for this version, we are using pork belly for a truly tender bite. This porchetta roast also consists of pine nuts, anise seed, panko, and parmesan cheese for a robust, almost stuffing-like filling.
- Skin on Pork belly or Porcelet belly, deboned. You can order one from your local butcher or see this article for where we order meat online.
- Salt – we always use kosher salt
- Pine nuts – you can find these in the bulk section or baking aisle of your local market
- Anise seed – or fennel seeds. You want the full seed as we toast them and then grind them for added depth.
- Garlic cloves
- Fresh Rosemary
- Fresh Thyme
- Fresh Sage
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Freshly ground Black pepper
- Pork panko – or regular panko, we use pork panko to keep it keto.
- And fresh parsley and lemon zest for serving just to brighten the dish.
How to cook porchetta
Prep the pork belly:
Start by removing it from the packaging and patting the belly dry with paper towels. Place the pork belly skin side down on a large cutting board or work surface, debone if needed, and trim any silver skin or excess fat from the meat side. With a sharp knife, score the meat by slicing long diagonal lines into it, and then rotating the pork belly and repeating. Then liberally season with salt. We love this flexible filet knife when we’re trimming meat.
Prep the herb stuffing:
In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts and anise seed until fragrant in a dry pan. This only takes a few minutes, so don’t leave the stovetop, or you will burn it.
After, add the garlic cloves, fresh herbs, parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, and anise to a blender or food processor. Pulse until paste-like texture that’s incredibly perfumed. In a bowl, combine the pork panko and black pepper with the herb mixture and mix to combine.
Make the porchetta
Pat the herb stuffing over ¾ of the seasoned belly, leaving about 1 to 1 ½ inches along the thicker long edge clear of filling. Cut several lengths of butcher’s twine long enough to wrap around the circumference of the pork belly once rolled with enough left to tie it off.
Carefully, starting with the thinner long edge, roll up the pork belly into a tight cylinder and secure it with kitchen twine about every inch and a half.
Place the tied pork belly seam side down on a wire rack on a rimmed baking sheet or in a roasting pan. Return to the fridge overnight.
Roast the pork
Because we are using pork belly, we will cook this longer and to a higher internal temp than a typical roast. We want the pork belly to render and soften with slow even heat, which produces the best mouthfeel and will make that quintessential crisp skin.
Preheat the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. When ready, place the roasting pan on the oven rack and slow roast for 3 to 4 hours—basting with the pan drippings every hour until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F. We highly recommend using a digital meat thermometer to check the internal temp of the roast for accuracy.
To crisp the skin:
Remove the porchetta from the oven and increase the temperature to 500 F.
Baste the roast again and then return to the hot oven and continue roasting for another 20 to 30 minutes. Rotate the roast with long tongs throughout this process to make sure all sides are crisping. Once all the skin has crisped to your liking, remove it from the oven.
Rest and serve:
Allow the porchetta to rest for 10 minutes. Using a digital thermometer inserted in the thickest part, the internal temperature should be 190 F. On a clean cutting board, use a serrated knife to slice the roast pork into 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch slices. You’ll find the serration helps to cut through the crispy skin easier than a chef’s knife.
Expert Recipe Tips
- When crisping the skin, be careful not to place the pork too close to the top of the oven where the heat comes from. It could burn the skin. Check every 10 or so minutes, rotating the roast if needed to crisp it all over.
Leftovers & Reheating
Store leftover porchetta in an airtight container or double-wrapped plastic wrap or foil. If stored properly in the refrigerator, it can last up to three days.
If you’d like it to last longer, you can wrap it in both aluminum foil and double-wrapped in plastic wrap it, then freeze it for up to three months. But we don’t feel the texture is the same when frozen, thawed, and reheated.
Reheat thin slices wrapped in foil in an oven preheated to 325 degrees F until heated through. Leftover porchetta can be used in various ways, but we highly recommend it in a sandwich with mayo. So good.
What to Serve With
Porchetta is typically made with pork loin. However, in this recipe, the pork belly was used for a particularly unctuous dish. Loin can easily get dry if overcooked, and, although we love it as a stuffed pork roast, we wanted to test the belly, and it did not disappoint.
Because this is using a belly, there’s no buying a small amount. Assume each person will eat around 1 to 2 slices. Our 6 1/2 lb pork belly made about 10 to 12 servings.
Yes, eating the skin on porchetta is perfectly fine and absolutely suggested. It should be flavorful and crispy, which is wildly different than the tender meat inside. However, reheating it can cause the skin to get softer. At that time, it’s easy to peel off and discard.
Pork Belly Porchetta Roast
For the Pork belly
- 6.5 lb Pork belly / Porcelet belly
For the herb filling
- ¼ cup Pine nuts
- 1 tbsp Anise seed
- 1 head Garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- 1 tbsp Rosemary
- 1 tbsp Thyme
- 1 tsp Sage
- 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup Pork panko or regular panko
Prep the pork belly:
- Place the pork belly skin side down on a clean work surface. Debone the pork belly and trim any silver skin or excess fat from the meat side.
- Score the meat.
- Season liberally with salt
Perp the herb stuffing:
- In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, toast the pine nuts and anise seed until just fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the garlic cloves, rosemary, thyme, sage, parmesan cheese, toasted pine nuts, and anise to a blender or food processor.
- Pulse until the garlic is finely chopped and the mixture has a fragrant paste-like texture.
- In a bowl, combine the pork panko and black pepper, with the herb paste and mix to combine.
- Pat the herb stuffing over ¾ of the pork, leaving about 1to 1 ½ inches along the thicker long edge clear of filling.
- Cut several lengths of butcher’s twine.
- Carefully, starting with the thinner long edge, roll up the pork belly. Carefully secure with butcher twine about every inch and a half.
- Place the tied pork belly seam side down on a wire rack on a baking sheet, or in a roasting pan and return to the fridge overnight.
Roast the pork:
- Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
- Place the roasting pan in the oven and roast the pork loin for 3 to 4 hours, basting every hour until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees F.
To crisp the skin:
- Remove the porchetta from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 500 F.
- Baste the roast again and return it to the oven for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the skin has crisped. With a digital meat thermometer inserted into the pork belly at the thickest part, the internal temperature should be 190F.
Rest and serve:
- Allow the porchetta to rest 10 minutes, while the internal temperature continues to rise to 190F before slicing and serving.
- Using a seratted carving knife, cut through the crisp skin into slices, about 1/2" thick.
- Garnish with freshly minced parsley and lemon zest for a bit of brightness.