Thursday, December 29, 2016

Porchetta (third time's a charm)

This is my third entry for a porchetta, this time basing it on a recipe from Honestly Yum for this past Thanksgiving. (I'm posting this here mainly to document the tweaks I made to the recipe, feel free to follow the link to see the original.) I paired a Becker Lane pork belly with a pork loin from Berkeley Bowl. Fantastic results, will definitely be doing this again soon.


Ingredients
Porchetta:
1 rectangular slab of pork belly with skin on and 1 center-cut pork loin
2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
1 teaspoon of black pepper corns
2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary leaves, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
zest of one lemon
sea or kosher salt

Arugula-Parsley Gremolata:
2 cups of flat leaf parsley, packed
2 cups of arugula, packed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
zest of 1/2 a lemon
juice of one lemon
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea or kosher salt

Directions
Porchetta:
The night prior to serving, marinate the meat. Toast the fennels seeds, peppercorns and red pepper flakes in a pan on medium-high heat until they are toasted and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Keep them moving constantly to prevent them from burning. Allow the spices to cool and crush in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Mix in the garlic, rosemary and lemon zest.
Prep the meat by placing the skin side of the belly down on a large roasting pan or baking sheet. Prick the meat all over about 1/4 inch deep so the spices penetrate the meat. Flip the meat and score the skin by making cross marks. Don’t cut too deep, only slice the skin.
Using the smooth side of a meat mallet, tenderize the skin all over for about 3 minutes. Flip the belly, and spread 2/3 of the rosemary fennel seasoning all over. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of kosher or sea salt on this side.
Season the surface of the loin likewise and place it in the center of the belly then wrap the belly around the loin. Tie tightly with butcher’s twine in 1/2 inch intervals. Season the outside of the rolled meat with the remaining 1/3 of the rosemary-fennel seasoning. Place on a large plate and refrigerate uncovered overnight or up to 24 hours.

The next day take the porchetta out two hours before roasting. Leave it uncovered at room temperature for two hours blotting the roast with paper towels to remove any excess moisture. Season the outside liberally with salt right before roasting. Preheat oven to 500 degrees, place the roast on a roasting rack and roast for 30 minutes. (Make sure your oven is very clean because at such high temps any food will leave your kitchen smokey!) Turn the oven down to 325 degrees and roast for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the meat registers to 145 degrees in the center. Remove the roast and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.
Remove the string and carve into thin slices. Serve with arugula-parsley gremolata.

Gremolata:
To make the gremolata, place garlic, parsley and arugula in a food processor and process until finely chopped.  Alternatively, you can mince all the ingredients with a knife. Transfer to a bowl and add lemon juice to the parsley arugula mixture. Add olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste.


This recipe made for an absolutely fabulous feast and left plenty of leftovers for sandwiches. Definitely a keeper in our kitchen!