Try This at Home: How to Make Porchetta

Chef and Chopped judge Scott Conant makes a classic Italian rolled pork roast.

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Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Photo By: Christopher Testani

Porchetta, a rolled pork roast, can be made with different cuts. Scott uses all pork belly for this ultra-rich version.

Get the Recipe: Roasted Porchetta

"A slice of this tender meat with its crispy skin makes everyone happy," says Scott.

 

Make the brine: Fill a large pot with 1 gallon water. Add the garlic, fennel seeds, juniper berries, peppercorns and thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, whisk in the salt and brown sugar, and let cool to room temperature.

Brine the pork: Put the pork belly in a large roasting pan and pour the brine over it. Cover and refrigerate 24 hours.

Make the rub: Toast the fennel seeds, juniper berries and peppercorns in a medium skillet over medium heat until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes.

Pulse a few times in a spice grinder until coarsely ground. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in the nutmeg, thyme and garlic.

Spice the pork: Remove the pork belly from the brine and pat it dry. Spread the rub on the flesh side of the pork belly, using just what adheres; you may have some rub left over. Put the pork belly skin-side up on a large rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, 24 hours to dry it out.

Roll the pork: Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. (If you have a convection setting, use it: preheat to 450 degrees F.) Flip the pork belly so it's skin-side down. Starting at one of the long sides, roll into a cylinder. 

Secure the roll with kitchen string: Tie separate pieces of string around the roll, about 3/4 inch apart.

Prick the pork all over with a skewer; this helps render the fat so the skin gets crisp.

Roast the pork: Put the pork belly on a rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. Tuck 4 upside-down spoons around the pork to keep it from rolling around. Roast 30 minutes, using a baster to baste the pork with the drippings and rotating the pan every 10 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F (325 degrees F for convection setting) and continue roasting, rotating the pan every 15 minutes, until the pork registers 155 degrees F on a thermometer, about 1 1/2 more hours.

Let the pork rest 30 to 40 minutes, then cut off the string and slice about 3/4-inch-thick pieces. Scott serves his porchetta with roasted potatoes and sauteed greens, or he turns it into a sandwich.

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