Pork Belly Porchetta Some recipes are hard. They're finicky beasts that take a lot of preparation and precision and require good timing and instincts. A difference of 30 seconds or 30 degrees can make a huge difference in these recipes between success and failure.
And then there are the recipes that just take the willingness to do them and the ability to find all the ingredients.
And that's the kind of recipe I made this weekend.
Although this recipe has lots of steps, it is really easy. All the ingredients are very straightforward and uncomplicated. The only complicated tools that are needed are a) something to grind spices with, b) butcher's twine, and c) a roasting pan big enough.
Oh, and you need a telephone to call your butcher, and a bag sturdy enough to bring home twelve to fifteen pounds of meat.
That's right: this recipe almost definitely requires you to ask your butcher to special order a full pork belly. A full pork belly will weigh anywhere between 12 and 15 pounds. A full pork belly is a beautiful things, as long as you ignore that the skin still has hair on it and quite possibly nipples.
Ignore that. It's pork belly. Once it's done and rolled up and marinated over night and then roasted in the oven for about five hours, it will be one of the tastiest goddamn things you've ever had.
This is what pork belly looks like.
It is massive. There's lots of fat. It's the equivalent of a lot of slices of bacon. We're going to use it for something else today, though.
Scored up and lots of thyme, rosemary, garlic, fennel seed, crushed red pepper, and salt.
Rolled up, and cut in half (this is just one half) because it wouldn't fit into the roasting pan.
A little before and after shot of it going into the oven, and then coming out of the oven. It was in the oven at 300 for four hours, and then cranked up to 500 for twenty more minutes to burn off the hair stubble and crisp up the skin. Notice how much it shrank while in the oven.
Ready to slice. I put it out on the table to torment people while it rested the requisite 15 minutes.
Skin, fat, meat, and herbs. It was awesome. Eat everything but the butcher's twine.