Porchetta | Making Roast Pork Porchetta | Possibly The Best Sandwich Ever

We have been looking to perfect a porchetta pork butty recipe to serve at our events, pop-ups and hopefully from our very own premises in the future. Here's an overview of our recipe and thought process, we finish the butties off with a dill heavy green sauce and a healthy spreading of rendered fat from the porchetta.

Porchetta, Brown Butter Buns & Green Sauce Sandwich

Sourcing The Pork For Porchetta

We got the meat for this little project from The Butchers Quarter in the Northern Quarter, they source their meat from Packington Free-range based in Staffordshire which is an environmentally, and welfare driven pig farm, producing hugely consistent meat from happy pigs. As always high-quality meat is the driving force behind a good meat dish.

Traditionally a Porchetta involves rolling a ribless belly with the loin attached, we decided just to get the belly, as the loin often dries in the cooking process as it is so lean. The process involves slow roasting the belly for hours on low before cranking up the heat and crisping that delicious skin up after its fat has rendered. Do, however, remember to keep the porchetta tied throughout the cooking process, or the skin will go AWOL as we found out in this attempt.

The key to a perfect porchetta (aka succulent meat and crispy skin), is in its preparation pre-oven. You need to cure slightly overnight (softening the proteins and seasoning the meat), and allow it to set in its rolled shape before cooking (to allow even cooking). Another trick we learned from Serious Eats, is to use baking powder, this will keep the skin of the belly more alkaline for longer, meaning its proteins can break down more, and it’ll blister and crisp in the process.

Making Porchetta |The Ingredients

One full boneless pork belly

2.5% salt

2% brown sugar

Baking Powder | 1tsp

Fennel | 1tbsp

Coriander chopped | 1tbsp

Black pepper | 1tbsp

Red chilli | 1tsp

Garlic | 1 Bulb

Making Porchetta | The Instructions

  • Score the flesh side of the belly in a crossed pattern at 1-inch intervals
  • Toast and crack the spices then combine with the salt (reserve some for the skin), sugar, and rosemary
  • Make a paste out of the garlic
  • Rub the spice mixture all over the meat (not the skin), followed by the garlic paste
  • Roll and tie the porchetta. Trim off any large overhangs (we rendered the fat from the trimmings and used it in the final butty)
  • Cover the skin with the reserved salt and baking powder. Now roll the porchetta in clingfilm (as you would a ballotine) and allow to cure overnight
  • Removed the clingfilm, and allow the meat to temper the next day. This will also give the meat time to dry off slightly.
  • Roast the porchetta on a rack at 120c for 4-5 hours (or an internal temp of 70c). Now crank up the heat and blast that skin at 220c till its pleasingly crisp.
  • Allow it to rest for at least 30mins, allowing juices to redistribute.

Click here to find out how to make the delicious brown butter brioche buns