Porchetta: An Italian Odyssey of Flavor

Listen, you don’t just make porchetta, okay? You embark on a journey, a culinary pilgrimage that transforms a humble pork belly into a gastronomic masterpiece. This is a dish with roots deep in the Italian countryside, a testament to the beautiful simplicity of rural cooking. You’re not just preparing food – you’re participating in a time-honoured tradition.

It’s time to roll up your sleeves and pay homage to the rich tapestry of Italian cuisine.

Porchetta: The Recipe


  • One 5-pound(2.26kg) piece of pork belly, skin on
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • 2 tablespoons fresh finely chopped rosemary, sage, or thyme leaves
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

Pork Prep Procedure

  1. Toasting the Spices: Take your fennel seeds and toast them lightly in a dry pan over medium heat. You’re looking for a light golden color and a fragrance that makes you want to book a one-way ticket to Rome.
  2. Preparing the Rub: In a mortar, combine the toasted fennel seeds, chopped rosemary, red pepper flakes, minced garlic, and lemon zest. Pound it all together with a pestle until you have a coarse paste. You’re not just making a spice rub here, you’re crafting an aromatic tribute to the Italian countryside.
  3. Scoring the Belly: Lay your pork belly skin-side up on a clean work surface. Take a sharp knife and score the skin in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut into the meat. This isn’t just for show – it’s going to help the fat render out and give you a gloriously crisp skin.
  4. Rubbing the Pork: Turn your pork belly skin-side down and season it generously with salt and pepper. Then take your spice paste and massage it into every nook and cranny of the meat.
  5. Roll and Tie the Belly: Now comes the fun part. Roll the pork belly up tightly, like you’re rolling a cigar that’s about to explode with flavor. Then tie it up with butcher’s twine at regular intervals. By this point, you should be starting to see the potential for greatness in this humble roll of pork.
  6. Optional Overnight Alchemy: Time for some culinary wizardry. Mix 1 teaspoon of baking powder with 3 teaspoons of kosher salt. Sprinkle it over your swine masterpiece. Wrap it up and let it rest in the fridge overnight. You’ve just initiated a science-backed flavor festival. (This step is optional if you’re in a hurry)

Let’s Roast this Little Piggy

  1. Slow and Steady: Preheat your oven to 300°F (150°C). Unwrap the pork belly, place it on a rack in a roasting pan, and slide it into the oven. Let it cook low and slow for about 3 hours. Trust me, good things come to those who wait.
  2. Crisping Finale: Alright, it’s showtime. Crank up the oven to 500°F (260°C) for an additional 10-15 minutes. Keep a hawk eye on it; we’re looking for a golden, crunchy armor, not a battlefield.
  3. Rest and Feast: Let your porchetta rest for at least 20 minutes before you carve into it. It’s about more than self-restraint – it’s about letting the juices redistribute. Now, slice that beauty up and reward yourself for a job well done.
Oven Roasted Porchetta
Oven Roasted Porchetta

That’s it. That’s Porchetta.

It’s not just a dish, it’s a journey. And like any good journey, it’ll leave you changed – and hungry for more.

Buon appetito, my friends. Enjoy your meal and savor every bite, because that’s what good food, good cooking, and good living are all about.

The Definitive Porchetta by Antica Porchetteria Granieri since 1916 with chef Paolo Trippini

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