Abruzzo Pork Roast (Porchetta Abruzzese)

Porchetta (por-ketta) is a savory, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast, usually pork belly. Although popular in the whole country, porchetta has historically been associated with the central block of Italy, with Lazio, Abruzzo, and Umbria each laying claim to the glorious roasted pork dish. Considered a celebratory dish, Porchetta abruzzese is slow-roasted, heavily salted, and stuffed with garlic, rosemary, fennel and other herbs. Porchetta is a certified as a traditional agricultural-food product- a special designation for traditional Italian foods holding cultural relevance. This is a great party dish sure to please your guests.

Porchetta Abruzzo- Pork Roast

This recipe for porchetta has all the rich, crackling-coated goodness of the classic Italian pork roast without having to debone a whole pig and cook it for 8 hours. It's fairly easy to recreate the intense garlic, lemon, and herb flavors an Italian porchetta is famous for. Leftovers make for incredible sandwiches, especially when matched-up with rappini or spinach.
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Course: Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine: Central Italy, Italian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours 30 minutes
Brining Overnight: 8 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 10
Author: My Hungry Traveler

Equipment

  • Food processor or mortar and pestle
  • Rimmed baking pan with rack
  • Kitchen twine (string)
  • Instant read thermometer

Ingredients

  • 7 lb Slab skin-on pork belly or boneless pork roast
  • ¼ cup Fresh rosemary , chopped
  • 1 tbls Sage leaves, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dried thyme
  • 6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp Coarse black pepper
  • 1 tsp Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 medium Lemon, zest only
  • 3 tbsp Fennel seed
  • 4 tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp Baking powder

Instructions

Prepare Roast

  • Lay roast fat-side down and score the meat-side with a sharp knife. Make diagonal incisions 1-inch apart and then rotate 90 degrees and repeat to create a diamond pattern.
  • Create a paste in the food processor by combing fennel seeds, rosemary, sage, thyme, rep pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic, and lemon zest. Pour in oil. Pulse until mixture forms a paste. Rub all over the pork meat and into the cuts.
  • Roll roast into a tight log and push to the top of the cutting board, seam-side down. Tie with string at 2-inch intervals, working from the outsides toward the center. Combine salt and baking powder and rub all over the outside of the roast. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight and up to three days.

Roasting Porchetta

  • Remove pork from the refrigerator 1 to 2 hours before cooking. Move rack to the lower-middle part of the oven and preheat oven to 300°F (150°C). Set porchetta over a wire rack in a large roasting pan.
  • Place in oven and roast until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 160°F (70C), about 2 hours. Baste with pan drippings every half hour.
    Cook about another 2 hours until a skewer show very little resistance when poked through the skin.
    Increase oven temperature to 500°F ( 260°C) and continue roasting until completely crisp and blistered, about 20 to 30 minutes.
    Remove from oven and tent with foil for 15 minutes. Slice into 1-inch slices, remove string, and serve.

Notes

    • Uncooked porchetta can be frozen to cook later at the point in would normally be placed the refrigerator to marinate.
    • Roast can be placed under a foil tent on a board for up-to 2 hours before the final crisping in a 500 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.