Pushing My luck with Porchetta – A Second Attempt

So chuffed was I by my first attempt at making porchetta that I just had to try it a second time and brave the chance of beginner’s luck not sustaining me this time around. Result?  Glee.  Tee hee!  All went well and friends who came to dinner ooohed and aaahed and tucked into flattering-sized helpings.  It’s not that I want to preen but I have to say that there is something so happy-making about seeing people enjoy their food.  Why bother cooking otherwise?

Anyway … this porchetta was made of stronger stuff than my first one and I couldn’t have trussed it without the help of obliging husband.   There were three differences compared with the last one: (1) I added pork fillet in the middle, (2) I mashed up the garlic, together with the rosemary and fennel seeds, and (3) I left it to marinade for almost 24 hours before taking it out of the fridge and getting it to room temperature before roasting it.   All of this was at the suggestion of another and very gracious butcher who, considering he is well known for his own porchetta, didn’t think it was at all cheeky of me to seek his advice.

Process the garlic, rosemary needles and fennel seeds into a paste that you can rub all over the meat.

Score the slab of meat with a sharp knife.  The large piece of meat is the porchetta … on the right is a whole fillet of pork which is going to be included in this porchetta.

Pour the aromatic paste onto the meat and rub it well all over, trying to get as much into the slits as possible.

Scatter a prodigious amount of salt evenly …

Insert the fillet of pork in the middle and salt that too …

Roll the fillet backwards and forwards so that some of the paste will cling to it too.

And now for the pepper … use as much as you like but, again, be generous.

And now it’s time to get rolling.  I picked the two ends/corners of the meat closest to me and brought them forward, towards the middle.

And then I did the same for the other end, the end furthest away from me.

Pat down well.  We now have another surface of meat that needs seasoning.

Salt …

Rosemary needles …


With my finger, I am indicating the point at which I will start rolling the porchetta … i.e. where the two ‘flaps’ of meat came to meet.

Here we go …

And this is where the strong hands of my husband became indispensable.  He had to hold the meat in place as I tied some string around he middle of the porchetta, as per the butcher’s instructions.

Phew … that took a lot of energy!  I could not have done it on my own.

I then wrapped the trussed porchetta in parchment paper which I had previously wetted so as to make it lose its lack of pliability and hence easier to wrap.  Just to remind you: I like to use the parchment paper because I don’t want the porchetta to be in direct contact with the aluminium foil (the less aluminium we ingest, the better).

And here is the porchetta in its final aluminium wrap.  I took out a measuring tape to give you an idea of how large it was … roughly 45 cm.

I then put it in the fridge until the following day.  I left it for about two hours to reach room temperature and then popped it into a hot oven (250°C) for two and a half hours.  I then removed the aluminium foil and the parchment paper and put it back into the oven for just over one hour.  Just to remind you: the porchetta was placed directly on the oven’s grid and not in a baking dish.  This is so the heat of the oven will evenly cover it all over.  I put a baking dish with some water in it underneath the porchetta, to catch any fat dropping off it.

By the time the porchetta came out of the oven, my guests were already there and I was distracted and didn’t take any photos.  I used a bread knife to cut it.  But I did manage to take some photos a little later on …. here they are.  I hope they encourage you to want to try making your own porchetta!


About myhomefoodthatsamore

Community celebration via food, wine and all beautiful things.
This entry was posted in Basic Techniques, Herbs and plants, italian home food, Secondi (main course, usually meat based) and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Pushing My luck with Porchetta – A Second Attempt

  1. katie parla says:

    WOW that looks amazing! bravissima!

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