Stuffed festive porchetta

Stuffed porchetta

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(2 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 5 mins plus at least 8 hrs chilling, 1 hr standing and 30 mins resting

Easy

Serves 6 - 8

This classic Italian dish of rolled pork belly is stuffed with a deliciously herby, fruity stuffing and has crisp and crunchy crackling

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving (8)

  • kcal480
  • fat33g
  • saturates11g
  • carbs5g
  • sugars3g
  • fibre1g
  • protein39g
  • salt3.3g
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Ingredients

  • 1½ kg bone-out pork belly
  • 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda

    Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…

  • 3 tsp fennel seeds
    Fennel seeds

    Fennel seeds

    feh-nell seeds

    A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…

  • 1 tsp chilli flakes

For the stuffing

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • ½ fennel bulb, hard core cut out and discarded, the rest finely chopped
    Fennel bulb

    Fennel bulb

    Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate - its strong aniseed flavour…

  • ½ tsp coriander seeds, crushed
    Coriander seeds

    Coriander seed

    kor-ee-and-er seed

    The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 250g minced pork shoulder
  • 1 slice sourdough bread, torn into small pieces
  • 25g toasted pine nuts
  • grated zest 1 unwaxed orange
    Orange

    Orange

    or-ange

    One of the best-known citrus fruits, oranges aren't necessarily orange - some varieties are…

  • 3 dried apricots, finely chopped
    Apricots

    Apricot

    ay-pree-kot

    A relative of the peach, nectarine, plum and cherry, apricots are fragrant, with a soft, velvety…

  • 3 sage leaves, finely chopped
  • ½ tbsp rosemary leaves, chopped
    Rosemary

    Rosemary

    rose-mar-ee

    Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…

  • ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • freshly grated nutmeg
    Nutmeg

    Nutmeg

    nut-meg

    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 1 egg, beaten
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

Method

  1. Score the pork belly skin with a sharp knife in a cross pattern. Score down to just before where the skin meets the fat, rather than the fat itself. Bring a large saucepan of water to a simmer and add the bicarbonate of soda. Lower the pork into the water, poach gently for 5 mins, then remove it from the water and leave to cool to room temperature.

  2. Meanwhile, toast the fennel seeds and chilli flakes in a dry frying pan over a high heat for 1-2 mins, then tip into a bowl and leave to cool. Grind the spices in a spice grinder or with a pestle and mortar, then mix with 1 tbsp fine sea salt.

  3. Once the pork has cooled, turn it skin-side down and pierce the underside of the meat all over with a knife. Rub the meat with the spiced salt rub, cover and put it in the fridge for at least 8 hrs or overnight. Can be prepared 24 hours ahead.

  4. The next day, make your stuffing. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the onion and fennel. Season and cook gently over a low heat for 10 mins. Add the coriander seeds and garlic, and cook for another 2 mins, then add the mince. Cook for 8-10 mins until the mince is browned. Set aside and leave to cool.

  5. Transfer the mince and onion mix to a bowl and add the sourdough, pine nuts, orange zest, apricots, herbs, lemon juice and nutmeg. Season well, then mix together thoroughly with your hands. Add the egg and mix again.

  6. Lie the pork belly on a board, skin-side down. Form the stuffing into a sausage shape running all the way down the middle of the belly. Wrap the sides of the belly around the stuffing and tie with butcher’s string. Place seam-side down in a roasting tin, uncovered, and chill for at least 2 hrs, preferably overnight. You want the skin to dry out completely so that it crisps up when you roast it.

  7. To cook the pork, remove it from the fridge and leave it for at least 1 hr to come to room temperature before you cook it. Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4 and cook the pork for about 2 hrs, turning the tin every 30 mins or so. After 2 hrs, turn the heat up to 220C/ 200C fan/gas 7 and cook for another 20 mins. When the pork is done, a thermometer pushed into its centre should read 77C. If the skin looks in danger of burning, cover it with foil – but only do this once it has crackled.

  8. Once the pork has cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 30 mins. When you’re ready to carve, put the pork on a big chopping board. Using a sharp knife, slice the meat into rounds.

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Comments, questions and tips

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reevey
27th Dec, 2015
This was our Christmas day 2015 meal and we were not disappointed and neither were our guests here in France. 5***** (the rater's not working!) It was gorgeous and even though I had a piece of pork the same size it was cooked after 2 hours & 20 mins so watch the timing to prevent the meat drying out. I'd cook it again for a special occasion as the prepping doesn't make it a sunday roast type meal and I would, thanit more bread, apricots & herbs to the stuffing to add to the flavour Brilliant special meal that's worth the effort, thanks Good Food & Rosie Birkett!!
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