Porchetta is a dish often seen served up as a celebration dish in Italy. It is made up of a whole pork which is boned out and filled with a mixture of herbs and spices. This whole joint is then cooked over a fire on a spit.
This recipe is a bit more humble however I hope to replicate this celebration dish in the domestic oven. You can eat this hot or cold. Allow 24 hours for this dish to marinade.
Unless you have good butchering skills I would ask your butcher to prepare the joint for you.
I have recommended a pork shoulder you could use pork belly or pork leg for this Porchetta recipe.
2kg pork shoulder, skinned, boned and butterflied but not tied.
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions chopped into 1/4″ dice
4 garlic cloves chopped finely
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
4 sprigs rosemary finely chopped
6 dried bay leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cloves
1 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pound the pork out to a thickness of 1 inch. The best way to do this is to place the pork on a board and cover with food wrap and use a meat mallet to reach the required thickness.
In a frying pan use 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to gently cook the onion until soft and transparent but not colored. Add half of the fennel seeds, garlic and ground cloves plus all the rosemary and bay, add salt and pepper. Mix well and allow this mixture to cool.
Once the mixture has cooled, spread over the inside of the pork, roll the pork tightly and tie every inch with butchers twine.
To make the marinade mix the rest of the fennel, garlic and cloves with the olive oil and rub this mixture all over the outside of the porchetta. place the joint in a large ziplock polythene bag and marinade in the fridge for 24 hours.
Take the joint out of the fridge 30 minutes before you start to cook the Porchetta.
Heat the oven to 180C, Cook the pork for about 3 1/2 hours.
During the cooking time if the outside of the joint starts to burn cover loosely with aluminum foil.
Once cooked take from the oven and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, before carving.
I like to eat the porchetta warm with a selection of buttered vegetables.