A flavorful pork porchetta with crispy skin.
- 8 lb skin on pork belly
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 2 tspn kosher salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1/2 cup fresh rosemary
- 4 lemons zested
- 1/3 cup fresh thyme
- 8 cloves garlic
- 1 tspn black pepper
- 2 1/2 lb boneless pork loin
- nonstick cooking spray for greasing
Set the pork belly on a rimmed baking sheet. Season all over with ½ cup of salt and the sugar. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.
When ready to cook the pork, preheat the oven to 250˚F.
Unwrap the pork belly and rinse off all the salt and sugar with cold water. Pat dry with paper towels, then place skin-side down on a baking sheet or large cutting board.
Add the fennel seeds to a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and wipe out the processor.
To the clean food processor, add the rosemary, lemon zest, thyme, garlic, 2 teaspoons of salt, and the pepper, and pulse until finely chopped and well combined.
Spread the garlic-herb paste evenly over the meat side of the pork belly.
Place the pork loin parallel along a short side of the pork belly. Roll up the belly to encase the loin and position the roll seam-side down.
Set a wire rack over a baking sheet and grease with nonstick spray. Arrange 8 30-inch long pieces of kitchen twine over the wire rack, spacing 1½ inches apart. Place the pork roll, seam-side down, across the center of the twine pieces.
Starting with the centermost piece, tie the twine as tightly as you can around the pork roll, using 2 double knots. Work your way from the center toward either end to tie the rest of the twine. Cut off the excess twine.
Add the other ½ cup of salt to the bowl with the ground fennel seeds and stir to combine. Sprinkle over the pork roll and rub into the skin.
Roast the porchetta for about 3 hours, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center reaches 145˚F. Remove from the oven.
Increase the oven temperature to 450˚F. Transfer the pork roll, still on the wire rack, to a cutting board. Pour any pan juices into a small bowl and skim off any fat.
Set the porchetta on the wire rack over the baking sheet, then return to the oven and roast for about 30 minutes more, until the skin is bubbling, crisp, and golden.
Transfer the porchetta to a cutting board and let rest for 20 minutes. Removed the twine and carve into ½-inch thick slices. Serve hot, with pan juices spooned over.