I fell in love with porchetta a few years back while on a long trip to Italy. Had it for dinner for my 30th birthday at a nice restaurant in Florence and it was served was an entree, thin sliced, and you could clearly see the pork belly wrapped around the roast. Had it in Rome, served off a food truck, tasted amazing but looked slightly different than Florence.
I have been trying to make both types, but since i can't seem to get my hands on some pork belly around here, i worked with a piece of pork butt that had a thick layer of fat on top.
I like marinating this for 48 hours before cooking.
Printable Recipe - click here
1-4 pound pork butt, boneless with top fat attached
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh sage, chopped
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for meat
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
Butterfly the roast by running a sharp knife under the skin and towards the middle in a spiral motion. Sprinkle salt all over the meat.
In a small frying pan under medium heat, toast the fennel seeds for about 3-4 minutes, stirring so it won't burn.
Either crush seeds with a mortar and pestle on on a small food processor. Add garlic, onion, rosemary, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, pepper and olive oil and mix it well.
Rub herb mix all over the inside of the meat. Roll it up and secure with butcher's twine. Wrap it well in plastic film and refrigerate for 48 hours.
Remove roast from fridge 1-2 hours before cooking to reach room temperature.
Preheat oven to 280F.
Place roast on a rack on a roasting pan and cook uncovered for 4 1/2 hours. The skin should be nice and crisp when ready and the internal temperature should reach 170F. Remove from oven and let it rest 20 minutes before slicing it. Serve on crusty rolls.