May 18, 2016

Homemade Porchetta

Prep Time: 1 d
Cook Time: 4 hrs
This is a simplified recipe for homemade porchetta; instead of breaking down and deboning a whole pig then stuffing it with a blend of Italian spices, I opted to use a portion of pork loin and belly with the skin on.

jump toRECIPE

While it’s a long process, made over the course of two days, the juicy, tender meat and crispy cracklings is worth the wait. Plus, the meat can be repurposed in a multitude of ways from sandwiches to breakfast hash and breakfast sandwiches.

Homemade Porchetta

What is Porchetta?

This is a simplified recipe for homemade porchetta. Traditionally the Italian dish is made by breaking down and deboning a whole pig. It’s then stuffed it with a blend of Italian spices and sometimes liver. Instead, I use a portion of pork loin wrapped with belly with the skin on for a more accessible version. I stuff the roast with a blend of spices, garlic and orange zest.

Homemade Porchetta Reshoot-11.jpg

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Pork Belly – Pork belly is the fatty cut of pork from the pig’s belly after the loin and spareribs are removed. I use a skin-on portion of pork belly in this recipe. I recommend asking your butcher for pork belly and if they have any with skin-on. If you can’t find a portion of skin-on pork belly then a cut with the skin removed will work just as well. You just won’t have that crunch from the pig skin on the outside.
  • Pork loin – The pork belly is rolled around a center-cut pork loin. It’s a very lean cut of meat – the fat from the belly keeps it moist as it cooks.
  • Spices – Spices like fennel seeds and crushed red pepper flakes are toasted and blended with salt and pepper, fresh herbs like rosemary, thyme, sage as the filling for this porchetta recipe.
  • Garlic – I always use fresh cloves of garlic, the pre-minced jars of garlic don’t taste the same. It loses a lot of the powerful garlic flavor when it’s jarred. This is because it has been soaked in water for a long period of time. Peeling garlic only takes a bit.
  • Orange zest – The orange zest is the grated outer skin from the citrus to add a concentrated flavor. Use a zester or microplane to remove the zest. If you don’t have a zester use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the rind and finely chop it.

How to Make Porchetta

Day 1:

  1. Prep the cuts of pork. Clear a large work area. On a large cutting board, place the pork belly skin side down and arrange the loin in the center. Roll the belly around the loin; if any of the belly overhangs trim the meat. Unroll and set the meat aside.
  2. Blend the spice mixture. In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the fennel seeds and crushed red pepper until fragrant, about a minute. Remove the spices from the pan into a small mixing bowl, and then add the rosemary, thyme, sage and black pepper. Use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind the spice mixture.
  3. Score the pork belly. Place the pork belly skin side up on a large cutting board. Use a sharp knife to score the skin and fat in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut down to the meat. Flip the pork belly, so that it is now skin side down. Use a paring knife to poke holes all over the meat.
  4. Assemble the porchetta. Season the pork belly on both sides with the kosher salt. Place the pork belly on the cutting board skin side down. Rub the garlic and orange zest all over followed by the spice mixture. Place the loin at the end of the pork belly.
  5. Roll and tie the porchetta. Tightly roll the belly around the loin then tie with kitchen twine in ½” intervals.
  6. Refrigerate to marinate overnight. Place the tied Porchetta on a platter and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

Day 2:

  1. Let sit at room temperature. Let the meat sit at room temperature for 1 hour to ensure the meat will cook evenly.
  2. Roast the pork. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Transfer the roast to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325ºF and roast for an additional 3 hours (a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 180ºF).
  3. Cook until skin is crispy. Increase the heat to 500ºF and continue to roast until skin is crispy and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  4. Let rest. Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Remove the string and discard.
  5. Cut and serve. Using a serrated knife, slice into ½” rounds.
homemade porchetta recipe from cooking with cocktail rings

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Porchetta is very versatile. While the meat is great on it’s own, I also love using it for sandwiches, on bagels in place of bacon or in a breakfast hash. Try chopping it up and adding it to a grilled cheese with provolone or Monterey Jack cheese!
  • Start making the porchetta 24-hours in advance so the meat can marinate in the herbs overnight and the skin can cure.
  • It’s definitely a good weekend project since the meat also takes a fair amount of time to roast but the house will smell incredible!
  • This recipe is definitely not for those afraid of a fatty cut of meat, but the pork belly is what makes the loin meat so tender. Warning: you will have the urge to snack on the cracklings. Don’t resist them.
  • To reheat the slices of porchetta simply sear in a cast iron pan on both sides and serve.
  • I often slice and freeze portions of the porchetta for later use.
Homemade Porchetta Reshoot-73.jpg

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Homemade Porchetta Reshoot-62.jpg

Homemade Porchetta

Print Pin
Prep Time 1 d
Cook Time 4 hrs
Serves 10

Equipment:

  • Cooking twine, as needed

Ingredients:

  • 1 (4-5 pound) piece pork belly, skin-on
  • 1 (2-pound) trimmed, boneless, center cut pork loin
  • 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 7 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest

Instructions:

Day 1:

  • Clear a large work area. On a large cutting board, place the pork belly skin side down and arrange the loin in the center. Roll the belly around the loin; if any of the belly overhangs trim the meat. Unroll and set the meat aside.
  • In a small skillet over medium-low heat, toast the fennel seeds and crushed red pepper until fragrant, about a minute. Remove the spices from the pan into a small mixing bowl, and then add the rosemary, thyme, sage and black pepper. Use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind the spice mixture.
  • Place the pork belly skin side up on a large cutting board. Use a sharp knife to score the skin and fat in a crosshatch pattern, being careful not to cut down to the meat. Flip the pork belly, so that it is now skin side down. Use a paring knife to poke holes all over the meat.
  • Season the pork belly on both sides with the kosher salt. Place the pork belly on the cutting board skin side down. Rub the garlic and orange zest all over followed by the spice mixture. Place the loin at the end of the pork belly.
  • Tightly roll the belly around the loin then tie with kitchen twine in ½” intervals.
  • Place the tied Porchetta on a platter and refrigerate, uncovered, overnight.

Day 2:

  • Let the meat sit at room temperature for 1 hour to ensure the meat will cook evenly.
  • Preheat the oven to 450ºF (230ºC). Transfer the roast to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 35 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 325ºF and roast for an additional 3 hours (a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads 180ºF/ 82ºC).
  • Increase the heat to 500ºF (260ºC) and continue to roast until skin is crispy and golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing. Remove the string and discard.
  • Using a serrated knife, slice into ½” rounds.

DID YOU MAKE THIS?

TAG ME ON INSTAGRAM TO BE FEATURED ON MY STORIES! @cookingwithcocktailrings

Rate + Review

WHAT DID YOU THINK OF THIS RECIPE?

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




  1. Hi – this looks great. Do you butterfly the pork loin before rolling it up in the porkbelly? Or just leave as is and wrap the pork belly around it?

    • Nope I just wrapped it around it! But it was a more narrow pork belly! If it’s a bigger one I’d recommend butterflying it and placing it at the start of the pork to roll it up!