The holidays are a time of celebration, a time for family traditions – new and old. One of our favorite “borrowed” traditions is making generously herbed, slow-roasted pig, better known as Porchetta. The savory, succulent dish has the honor of being selected by the Italian Ministry of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policy as a prodotto agroalimentare tradizionale (“traditional agricultural-alimentary product”, one of a list of traditional Italian foods held to have cultural relevance). Porchetta is also one of two iconic culinary products of the Lazio region. We like to think our Layer Cake Primitivo is the other, but actually it’s pecorino romano.
We invite you to try a new holiday tradition this year and treat your family to our recipe for the perfect Porchetta, courtesy of our friends at the Fatted Calf.
1 boneless pork middle, skin on (10-12 lbs)
¾ cup mortared garlic
Zest of 4 lemons
¼ cup fine sea salt
¼ cup black pepper, finely ground
1 cup fennel seeds, toasted and ground
2 bunches rosemary, finely chopped
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup coarse sea salt
Serves: 10 Active prep: 1 hour Cook time: 3-4 ½ hours
1. Preheat your oven to 375˚F.
2. Score the pork skin perpendicular to the direction of the ribs.
3. Rub the garlic all over the meat, followed by the lemon zest. Then sprinkle liberally with the coarse sea salt, pepper, fennel and finally the rosemary.
4. Starting from the loin side, roll the pork into a cylinder and tie every 2 inches with butcher’s twine. Rub with the olive oil and sprinkle with the coarse salt.
5. Put your finely tied roast on a rack, then into oven until it’s golden brown, about 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to 300˚F and cook until the internal temperature is 140˚F. This can take from 2 ½ – 4 hours, depending on the thickness of the roast.
6. Remove porchetta from the oven and let it rest for 30 minutes.
7. Carve with a serrated knife into ½ inch thick slices and enjoy!