Porchetta! (via patiodaddiobbq.com)

Porchetta is a beautiful and glorious thing. How can you possibly go wrong with 7 lbs of herb-stuffed, jelly-rolled and fire-roasted heritage pork belly? That's right, you simply can't. Make one of these the next time you have guests over for a barbecue or to watch a game, then sit back and watch the looks of porcine bliss on their faces.

The traditional Italian porchetta (pronounced por-KET-a) is made of a deboned whole hog that is stuffed with garlic and herbs then rolled and roasted on a spit over wood coals. An American adaptation was to wrap pork belly around the pork loin. This was easier in years past because one could simply have their butcher leave the loin attached to the belly. That would be a tall order nowadays, so this new adaptation is made by simply using only the belly. It's far less laborious to prepare, but the results are still incredible.

If you want to try one of these at home leave a comment below for a chance to win a Snake River Farms gourmet Kurobuta pork belly. We will select a winner at random. Since I obviously need a way to contact the winner, your comment must either link to or contain your e-mail address. The deadline for entries is 12:00 AM MDT Tuesday, July 22, 2014.

Note: Ideally you want to use a skin-on belly in order to get that lovely cracklin crust, but it's not required. The belly I used for this recipe did not have the skin on and the crust was still excellent, it just wasn't crispy and crunchy.

1 6-7 lb Snake River Farms pork belly (approximately 10" wide, 16" long, and 1 1/2" thick)
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Kosher salt, divided
1/4 cup Finely chopped fresh fennel fronds (the leafs and tender stems)
2 Tbsp Finely chopped fresh rosemary
2 Tbsp Finely chopped fresh thyme
2 Tbsp Finely chopped fresh sage
8 cloves garlic, minced (about 4-5 teaspoons)
Zest of one orange
Zest of one lemon
1/2 tsp Crushed red chile
2 tsp Olive oil
2 tsp Black pepper, ground medium

Unwrap the pork belly, rinse well with cold water, and pat dry with paper towels.

Porchetta! (via patiodaddiobbq.com)
Combine all ingredients except the belly, two tablespoons of the salt, the oil, and the pepper in a small mixing bowl and mix well to combine.

Porchetta! (via patiodaddiobbq.com)

With the pork belly skin/fat-side-up on a cutting board, cut slits 1/3" deep and 3/4" apart in a crosshatched pattern. Rub two tablespoons of the salt thoroughly into the skin/fat, then flip over.

Porchetta! (via patiodaddiobbq.com)
Using a filet or paring knife pierce all the way through the meat side of the belly about every square inch. Spread the herb mixture evenly over the belly.

Wrap the belly very well in plastic wrap and refrigerate 24 hours.

About 3 1/2 hours before you plan to serve, remove the belly from the refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.

While the belly is sitting, preheat your grill for indirect heat at medium heat (about 300º).

Cut 12 pieces of butcher's twine 18" long. Unwrap the belly and roll in a jelly roll fashion and tie about every inch with the twine.

Porchetta! (via patiodaddiobbq.com)

Cut the porchetta into two equal pieces, coat all sides of each piece with oil and season evenly with the ground black pepper. Grill both pieces indirect until the internal temperature reaches 160º, about 2 1/2 hours. There is no need to flip or turn the porchetta during the cooking.

Porchetta! (via patiodaddiobbq.com)

Remove the porchetta to a platter, tent loosely with foil, and let rest 15-20 minutes.

Cut the porchetta into slices about 1/2" thick, serve and enjoy! I served mine on a toasted ciabatta roll, topped with arugula and pickled red onion.

Porchetta! (via patiodaddiobbq.com)

Disclaimer: I am a partner of Snake River Farms and I was compensated for this post, but the thoughts and feelings expressed here are completely my own.

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Blogger Two State BBQ said...
You had me at pork belly! Been wanting to do this for a while, now I will be doing this very soon! Great write up as usual! -- Lionel Bateman
Blogger drholly said...
This looks like a pretty easy and delicious way to make it. Looking forward to trying this soon! Thanks. drholly@comcast.net
Blogger 1Bigg_ER said...
Weekend project for my PBC!! I'll get Funkadelically Funkadelic
Blogger Unknown said...
1Bigg_ER - I cooked mine in the PBC. Rock it like Meatloaf! ;-)
Blogger James said...
Do they make a vegetarian version of this?
Blogger Unknown said...
James - Vegan pork... Now there's an idea with serious legs!
Blogger Unknown said...
I HAVE to cook this on my PBC!!!
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I wonder how this would taste smoked in my Pit Barrel Cooker.
Blogger Unknown said...
Anonymous - As I mentioned in a previous comment, I cooked mine in one of my PBCs. Given that, I can guarantee that it will be fantastic. ;-)
Blogger Unknown said...
oh ps...you can select me as the winner and contact me at rkathner@gmail.com for delivery details :D
Blogger She Who Smokes said...
Looks simply amazing! Will be a "must try" on my PBC!
Blogger Unknown said...
Note: Many of you are no leaving a way for me to determine how to contact you.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
This looks great. I'll do it on my PBC. Should I use the grate or hang it with hooks? Cal Carpenter - Gemini50@cox.net
Blogger Unknown said...
Cal - I cooked it on the grate.
Blogger She Who Smokes said...
I can be notified at: shesmokesalot@gmail.com
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Why would you cover that lovely thing with bread lol. I would love to try this. eric.spivey@hotmail.com.
Blogger 2kewlgypsy said...
Cannot wait to try this! been meaning to do a belly for some time, I'm thinking Memorial day, but may have to try one first, you know, just to make sure!
Blogger Cibelokid said...
I can only get pork belly after it has been sliced. (Tears)
Anonymous Anonymous said...
I'm ready to receive your offering...bullieloco@gmail.com
Blogger Unknown said...
Thanks for posting this - I am going to cook this tomorrow in my PBC - Can't wait. Belly is marinating now.
Mike Gallagher (Overland Park, KS) / gallagher.msg@gmail.com
I'd love to be your winner!
Anonymous Dan Mohr said...
Ironically I have never tried Pork Belly, but have always wanted to. That looks outstanding. Thank you for an opportunity to try such a quality product. dmohr@briteomatic.com
Blogger 1Bigg_ER said...
I just smashed my first sandwich. Key word: FIRST.

Blogger Unknown said...
1Big - I'm glad that it worked for you. Unfortunately your pic links aren't working.
Blogger 1Bigg_ER said...
Yeah, not sure if it's possible to post pictures in comment section. But thanks for sharing the recipe.
Blogger Unknown said...
It's possible, like this.
Blogger 1Bigg_ER said...
Anonymous dnote said...
Looks killer!

Blogger Three Dogs BBQ said...
Always wanted to try one of these. I would give that SRF pork belly the old college try.
Blogger Unknown said...
Congratulations to Cal Carpenter, winner of the Snake River Farms pork belly giveaway!

Thanks to each of you for your readership and participation.
Anonymous Anonymous said...
Love the design of your blog. Simple. I love the wood effect. Seems like I'll be a regular visitor of your site. Haha. Anyway, I haven't tasted porchetta, hope my mom knows how to do this one.
Anonymous Ethnic Food said...
This look fabulous. Thank you.
Anonymous Roninsan said...
Hi John,
A question for you on the recipe. Did you really use 1/4 cup of salt with the herbs as well as an an additional 2 Tbsp on the skin/fat side? I can understand the salt amount for the skin/fat side but 4 Tbsp with herbs and a 24 marination time seems like it would be oversalted. I do love a well seasoned piece of meat but just wanted to clarify before I continue following your recipe. Didn't know till yesterday that Costco sold full slabs of skinless pork belly which reminded me of your porchetta recipe I bookmarked months back. I'll be doing this on my PBC. Thank you.

Any previous posters have feedback on the outcome of your porchetta using the PBC following john's recipe?
Blogger Unknown said...
Roninsan - The recipe is accurate. Mine wasn't too salty, but reduce the salt if you're concerned. Keep in mind that the amount of salt is obviously proportional to the size of the belly. Mine was pretty large.
Anonymous Roninsan said...
Hi John,
Sorry for the long post but figured I'd better reply back before I forget again. I followed the instructions exactly except for the the salt which I halved to be on the safe side. The pork belly (without skin) was a 7+ pounder purchased from Costco. It was smoked on my Pit Barrel Cooker using the grate. I smoked it for about 3 1/2 hours and would have wanted to go longer except I was running late for our Thanksgiving get together.

The feedback from friends and family was the flavor and taste was excellent except for the fat content (hence my 3.5 hrs smoking time). The pork belly I purchased had too much fat so only a qtr of the belly was eaten during the party. So what to do with the leftovers? The next day I cut the belly roll in half crosswise, placed it on a ceramic baking dish covered it with foil, put it in a cold oven, cranked up the temp to 300 and baked it for 3 hours. Boy did that render a lot of fat. Since I was still over stuffed from yesterdays Thanksgiving I cut the roll crosswise a few more times, placed it in a glass dish (with lid) then poured the semi cooled lard over the pork acting as a confit in a way and placed it in the fridge. (yes I was kinda experimenting in a way) Every now and then I'd take a piece of belly, scrape away the fat and sear it on a pan for 2 min on each side. They made perfect tacos. Delish!!

So today was the last piece of belly I had (2/12/16). I totally forgot about it since I placed it in the back of the fridge a few weeks back. Needless to say I was a bit weary but had to try out of curiosity. Did the smell to detect any funkiness, none was found then seared it for 2 minutes on each side. Still amazing. BTW I am in no way recommending you do this or if you do then at your own risk.

Would I do this dish again. Absolutely!! However with a few changes. Depending on the fat content I'd smoke it for about 3 hours then place it in a 300 degree oven covered in foil for another 2-3 hours to further render the fat. I'd also probably smoke the belly the day before the party then heat it up in the oven an hour prior.

Anonymous John Smith said...
The pictures alone make me want to try this! Just got a new smoker and was looking for a great pork belly recipe to try with it. It does seem like a lot of salt but I'm going to try the recipe as is and will report back.

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