If you have never heard of porchetta before, well, let me introduce you to it. Pronounced as ‘porketta’, yes, that is a lot of pork, porchetta is basically a whole lot of pork stuffed with a bunch of delicious herbs as well as a bunch more pork.  I have been wanting to make porchetta for some time now, and this past holiday season was the perfect time. If you have been following my recipes, you should probably know by now that I love cooking, but I love cooking during the holidays. As our families often compete (I will use that word lightly) for hosting the holiday feast, I was fortunate enough to cook both Thanksgiving, and Christmas meals this year.

Recipe for making porchetta
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As the Christmas meal often stems around a bone in, spiral ham (which I love), I decided to surprise the family with something new. I wanted them to experience a whole new dish, and something that is elegant in its own right. The porchetta.  Days prior to the holiday feast, I began preparing the porchetta. A bit labor intensive, and time consuming, the end result is nothing but spectacular.

Lets get started.

Ingredients: [Print this Recipe]

  • 11 lb pork belly, thick skin in tact
  • 6 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of sage, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup of fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp toasted fennel, ground
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 2 tbsp cracked black pepper
  • 2 heads of garlic, minced
  • olive oil
  • 15 slices of pancetta, thinly sliced
  • 4 lb pork shoulder, butter flied
  • Additional Salt, pepper, chopped rosemary, thyme, sage
  • 3 large carrots
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 3 cups of chicken stock
  • butcher’s twine

Begin by cutting the meat side of the pork belly into crisscross incisions being careful not to cut through the skin. Do this for the whole pork belly.

Add the minced garlic, and herbs to a bowl. Drizzle enough olive oil until it just becomes wet. Set aside.

Generously season the pork belly with salt and pepper. Take the garlic and herb mixture and begin massaging it into the pork belly, making sure you get into all of the scoring of the meat. Roll, and securely wrap it in plastic wrap. Place this in the refrigerator for 3 days.

To the pork shoulder, season with some salt, pepper, and the additional herbs, just enough to lightly coat. Lay down the pancetta on a flat surface, making it a blanket for your pork shoulder. Add the shoulder to the pancetta, and carefully roll into place. Place in a large plastic bag, seal, and refrigerate for 3 days.

Ingredients for making porchetta

When you are ready to prepare the porchetta, take the shoulder and belly from the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Unroll the pork belly. To the top of the pork belly, add the pork shoulder, making sure everything is nice and snug. Roll the porchetta, lengthwise, into a roll. Take your kitchen twine and begin securing the porchetta.

How to make porchetta

Now what you end up with is a pretty darn long pork roll. My guess is that it will be too long for your roasting pan, so what I did is simply cut the porchetta in half and roasting them in two separate roasting pans. With that said, to the bottom of your roasting pan, add the carrots and the celery stalks, and the chicken stock, laying the porchetta, skin side up, on top of the vegetables. Drizzle a bit of olive oil onto the skin and massage it all over the skin. Season with a bit more salt.

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

Lay your roasting pan in the preheated oven, and cook for roughly 45 minutes. Take in the smell, it’s amazing. Reduce to 300 degrees, and begin basting the top of the skin with the pan juices every 30-40 minutes.

Your total cook time for the porchetta will be roughly 4 hours.  After this time, remove the porchetta from the oven and onto your cutting board. Let this rest for about 20 minutes so that all of the juices distribute throughout the porchetta.

Remove the butcher’s twine and discard. With a serrated knife, or better yet if you have an electric knife, begin slicing through the crisp pork skin, then through the succulent pork. Cut into rounds if you can. Plate on a large serving dish for your guests.

A layer of crisp pork fat, then a wonderful blend of herbs and pancetta, followed by succulent pork shoulder, every bite is succulent and extremely delicious. This porchetta was the perfect meal to serve lots of people, inexpensive compared to most other holiday meals, and I had plenty of leftovers for some really killer sandwiches.

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Dax Phillips

Thank you for visiting my website. Truly, I do appreciate it. My free time and stress reliever is cooking for my family, friends, and everyone in between. The recipes you find on this site are those that I have either created, been part of, or those that I simply enjoy and have made my own in some shape, form, or other. My focus has always been on comfort food, because at the end of a long work day, you want something comforting. I currently am the father of three children, and married to a wonderful wife of thirteen years. There is nothing fancy with these recipes, just simple, and I will admit, not so simple ingredients, and a simple kitchen corner I can call my own. I learned early on that cooking and bringing family together was very important. After all, this notion of being together at dinner time was instilled early on by my parents. There are many memories of being in the kitchen with my parents, watching them cook, or preparing meals, or those home cooked smells while waiting for dinner. My parents who worked full-time, always had home cooked meals during the week, with the exception of Friday nights where we would enjoy a Wisconsin fish fry, and often on late afternoons on Sunday, where we would order Ann's pizza. I tend to cook by making things up. As a home cook, I think you have to take chances, and add or subtract ingredients that make up a dish, and make them your own. Remember to taste, and taste often. If a dish has potential, try it again, and make it your own. You should also note that I do not count calories, or break down recipes into grams of anything. To me, that's a bit boring. My philosophy is that if the food is good, eat it, and eat it in moderation. Life is just too short not to enjoy good food. Commonly Asked Questions: Can I use your photography/content on my website/blog? Please do not redistribute my photography or recipes without my permission. All of the recipes and photography on this website are my own unless noted, and is subjected to copyright  If you’d like to use a photograph or a recipe, please contact me for permission. Will you review my product/book/site? I am available for recipe development, food photography and/or styling, travel/press events, product reviews, brand promotion/ambassador, and sponsored posts. If you are interested in working with me, or if you have a question/comment regarding a recipe or about my blog, please send me an email.

11 thoughts to “Porchetta”

  1. Is the fat in the pork belly cooked crispy? If not I cannot eat soft fat anymore than I could eat uncooked bacon. thanks for your reply. Patty

  2. This porchetta recipe looks amazing. I am wanting to make this for a party I am having and I wondered how many servings would you say this recipe makes? I was going to do porchetta sandwiches. Also, did you ever have an issue with the fat drippings (potential fire hazard) while cooking?

    1. You know Mark… No clue. I smoke a lot of food but I have not tried smoking a porchetta. It’s totally possible if you think about it but not sure of how the smoke would impact that traditional flavor. Regardless, if you go that route I would love to know how it turns out!

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