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 mardinade 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.
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).
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!