Although I do not eat out all that often, I like to keep an eye on the restaurant scene here in Toronto and a new comer, Porchetta & Co recently caught my attention. Not surprisingly they specialize in porchetta and with all of the rave reviews they were getting I had to pay them a visit and try out their porchetta sandwich. Porchetta is an Italian style of roast pork that is seasoned with spices and slowly roasted until tender. Fattier cuts of pork are often used for porchetta and it is common to wrap everything up in a pork belly. All of this fat does two things for the roast, the first being that it keeps the roast nice and moist even through all of the roasting and it adds a ton of flavour. The final component of the porchetta is that the outer part of the pork belly gets nice and crispy and it is referred to as the crackling. Porchetta & Co definitely have their porchetta down and the sandwich was amazing! This of course inspired me to try making porchetta at home.

Luckily Porchetta & Co describe their porchetta pretty well so all that was required was coming up with the amounts in the recipe and getting to roasting. Well, before we get to roasting we actually want to marinate the pork shoulder and apply a dry rub to the pork belly and let to develop their flavours for at least 24 hours. Once the pork has had a chance build up some flavour the roast is assembled and thrown into the oven, first at a high temperature to get the outside nice and crispy and then low and slow until the roast is fully cooked. This was actually my first time working with a pork belly and I have to say that I am quite pleased with the results. The porchetta certainly did come out nice and moist and tender and full of flavour. I served the porchetta with a dollop of grainy mustard and a side of braised rapini or broccoli rabe. Now I am definitely looking forward to some porchetta sandwiches and enjoying the leftovers in other ways!



Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 4 hours Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes Servings: 12

An Italian style slow roasted pork that consists of a pork shoulder that is rubbed with spices and wrapped in a pork belly and slowly roasted until perfectly tender.

  • 1 pork shoulder or butt, cut into the shape of a cylinder about 3 inches diameter and 12 inches long, about 2 pounds
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sage, chopped
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 (2 pound) pork belly with skin on, large enough to wrap around the shoulder, 12 inches across, 20-24 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches thick
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 tablespoon dill seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
  1. Marinate the pork shoulder in the olive oil, garlic, rosemary, sage. lemon, salt and pepper in a zip lock bag in the fridge over night.
  2. Cut diagonal criss-crossing lines across the fat side of the pork belly.
  3. Cure the meat side of the pork belly in the brown sugar, fennel seeds, dill seeds, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, wrap in plastic and let sit in the fridge overnight.
  4. Pull the pork shoulder and belly out of the fridge an hour before you intend to start roasting.
  5. Wrap the pork belly around the shoulder with the skin side out and tie everything up with butchers twine.
  6. Roast in a 400F/200C preheated oven for 30 minutes then reduce the temperature to 250F/130C and continue roasting until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 140F.
  7. Let the porchetta rest for 30 minutes before carving.


Natalie said...

I had a Porchetta sandwich at Roli Roti in San Francisco.... Words cannot describe its deliciousness.... The crispy skin was like the thickest potato chip EVAR! They served it on what looked like a wheat ciabatta roll with caramelized onions and arugula. When I saw your post, I nearly keeled over. I see my very own, homemade Porchetta in my very very near future!!! Thanks for this post!

Nina Timm said...

Oh my word Kevin, the porchetta looks amazingly good. I have not even made it yet, but I can imagine a porchetta left over sandwich!

Michelle said...

that looks absolutely amazing! it's making my stomach grumble. thanks for sharing the recipe!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

A wonderful speciality!



Joanne said...

Even being 100% Italian and all, I've never had porchetta before. It must be so moist and flavorful though...I can only imagine!

epicurious erin said...

Sounds great! I recently made Pollo in Porchetta (Chicken in the style of Pork)in a class in NYC, taught by the incredidibly knowledgable Gina Sarnataro. It was fun and amazingly yummy and moist. Goes to show that you don't need a lot of fancy techniques and ingredients to make something taste good.

Agata Melnyk said...

photos on your's blog are dengerous! i'm visiting this site from months. The worst idea is to watch this pictures at night. I'm becoming so hungry that i could eat whole fritge before sleep! You are great inspiration for me as a photographer and cooker! Huge greatings from Poland!

katerina said...

Beautiful! I love porchetta. I am impressed with what a beautiful slice you got, I always find it hard to get a perfect slice with a crispy exterior.

bean said...

I'd really like to try this recipe, but I need some clarification, if you would:
When I get ppork belly it is offered in a 'chunk' of about 3-5 lbs., 2 or 3 inches high x 6 or so wide by 4-6 deep...
Do you get my drift: how am I supposed to butcher this chunk to get something that will wrap a shoulder?
How is your pork belly butchered?

Pardon me if I'm not understanding something here, but this recipe is really not making sense to me.
Thanks for replying

bunnyeatsdesign said...

There are several La Porchetta restauarants here but not one of them actually serve porchetta. I never knew what it was until I read this post. This slice of meat looks delectable.

Kevin said...

Bean: I got a pork shoulder that was about 4 pounds that I cut roughly in half to create a into a cylinder about 3 inches in diameter and 12 inches long. The pork belly that I got was also 12 inches across and it was 24 inches long and about 1 1/2 inches thick. I needed about 20 inches of the pork belly to fully wrap the pork shoulder. If the pork belly was 2-3 inches thick it would definitely be too thick to wrap around the pork shoulder.

Anonymous said...

Do you have pictures of the pork shoulder or the pork belly? I'm having a hard time envisioning it.

Thanks Kevin! Can't wait to try this recipe. :)

Anonymous said...

I know the pork belly is essential, but what is your thoughts for just skipping the pork belly wrapping?

Katie said...

That looks GREAT! Wow!

Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 said...

When I lived in Minneapolis I had a roommate from Northern Minnesota that raved about this pork roast called, "porketta". She said you could only buy it up North and she'd never seen it anywhere else. After visiting her family one time and she brought one back from the grocery store to cook for us. It really was spelled "porketta" on the package, and it really was delicious. I have never heard of it anywhere else, but I'm glad that I could recreate that taste myself without flying to Northern Minnesota. It was so flavorful and moist.

Kristi said...

Mmm...the spices in this are awesome. Thanks so much for the recipe, I made a vegan version here.

Kristi @
Veggie Converter

Tiff said...

This looks delicious! I still have to try Porcetta and Co. I tried the one at Stockyard's but it was a bit of a letdown.

Kevin said...

Anonymous: I have seen a few versions where the pork belly is skipped. You may want to replace it with something like bacon, pancetta or prosciutto to help ensure that the pork stays nice and moist and it will also add even more flavour.

Anonymous said...

Kevin, great-looking recipe. I'm a follow Torontonian and I'm curious where you get your meat? I have trouble finding pork belly and the pork shoulder at most butcher is far too lean.


Kevin said...

Anonymous: I normally get my meat at the Saint Lawrence Market. Some of the butchers carry small pieces of pork belly and there is a sausage place, Sausage King it think, that is where I got the full pork belly, though you have to ask for it.

blogbytina.com said...

I saw your recipe for the porchetta sandwich, but I didnt know what porchetta was! OMG I am glad I know now. This looks amazing.

THanks for changing my life!

htejani said...

Do you keep the fat layer on the pork butt?

Kevin Lynch said...

htejani: You can remove the fat layer form the pork butt and the belly will keep the roust nice and moist.

Bill Bell said...

Don't you mean to tie on the pork belly with the skin side out?

Kevin Lynch said...

Bill Bell: Yes, that is right, the skin side want to be out to get crispy! Good catch! I have corrected the recipe

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