• Some of the links on this forum allow SMF, at no cost to you, to earn a small commission when you click through and make a purchase. Let me know if you have any questions about this.

Porchetta, It's a PITA'rse but Worthwhile

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,954
7,048
Joined Oct 17, 2016
Porchetta, it's a PITA'rse but worthwhile.
Why? Becuase this oh so succulent, fatty, juicy and savory roll of pork and herbs is decadently delicious.
Which make the labor of making and cooking it worthwhile.

Start with the better part of a whole, skin-on pork belly and half a large pork loin.
You'll need to measure and trim so the belly will wrap completely around the loin with a little extra room for shrinkage during cooking.
That belly's skin is going to shrink, I learned by doing, you can learn from my experience... Pics later.

PWNgfXC.jpg

l0Q3smZ.jpg

Put the loin into a wet brine (1T Kosher salt per cup of water) and brine for a minimum of 12 hours, 24 hours or more is better.
I allowed mine to brine for 36 hours.

Score the skin with a razor sharp knife or razor blade, cutting only through the skin and barely into the fat, do not cut through into the meat.
You'll want to make the cuts so when the cook is finished you can slice the Porchetta through the cuts.
(You'll note I made my cuts wrong, live and learn)
Then rub liberal amounts of Kosher salt into the cuts and allow to air dry in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours, longer is better.
I allowed mine to air dry for 36 hours.
The cuts, salting and drying is to help with easily turning the skin into cracklins at that end of the cook.

Scored skin after drying.

oQvcV9t.jpg

The original recipe calls for pork liver pate in the stuffing, I couldn't source it and thus am doing without it.
The rest is easy to source, kosher salt, minced garlic, fennel seed, fresh herbs: fennel fronds, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano.
(Crushed red pepper is an option.)
You can see the amounts of herbs I used, no actual measurements.
I just eyeballed what I figure would be enough to generously season the belly and minced them.

Fresh Herbs

y1qEWH2.jpg

You'll lay the belly out with cotton twine laid under ready to truss it all up tightly.

Now salt it and then liberally spread with minced garlic, Go conservatively with the fennel seed and lastly apply the freshly minced herbs.

Now lay the loin atop it and with some helping hands wrap the belly around it and tie it up tightly.

QRWDkRW.jpg

vaBkUiF.jpg

H8NjZij.jpg

And let me show you, this thing is not small, it's a huge roll of piggy!

ux3HhT3.jpg

Okeydokey, all tied up and ready to cook.
I opted to smoke at 300° over a mix of cherry and hickory.
I ran multiple therms for IT, and my goal was to pull at 120° IT and have the loin finish at 140° during the broiler stage turning that skin to cracklins.
Turned out I should've pulled at 110° cause it ran over to 150°, but that long brine and belly fat saved the loin from drying out and it was good to go.

Smoking along nicely.

IicM6hr.jpg

Ready for the broiler
Please note, I had to roll the Porchetta side to side to get even coverage of the cracklin skin.
I used bamboo skewers stuck thru it to turn it side to side.
No lollygagging during this stage, hands and eyes on to prevent burning.

ZAM9xmV.jpg

Cracklin Skin!
And let me tell you about the cracklins... OMG'osh so freaking good!
Everything that came off during slicing I claimed by way of Chef's Privilege.

YWDscZw.jpg

Slices!
A really sharp serrated carving knife with fine serrations will saw through the cracklins.
Also you can cut fairly easily through the areas that were tied.

6CwKOkI.jpg

T39stv9.jpg

So, I made my mistakes, live and learn.
But it came out pretty damned good, it was well reviewed by the family.

Learn from my mistakes/experience.
Cut your belly with a little extra room for shrinkage.
Tie it up tightly, that belly's skin is going to shrink and contract during cooking.
And stop and think about which way the scoring cuts need to go.


2mZ722S.jpg
 

Attachments

Last edited:

jcam222

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
5,454
5,160
Joined Jun 13, 2017
Man that’s beautiful Chile!! One ton of work but it sure does look worth it!! I’d tear some of that up.
 

tallbm

Smoking Guru
OTBS Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
5,324
2,339
Joined Dec 30, 2016
Porchetta, it'a a PITA but worthwhile.
Why? Becuase this oh so succulent, fatty, juicy and savory roll of pork and herbs is decadently delicious.
Which make the labor of making and cooking it worthwhile.

Start with the better part of a whole, skin-on pork belly and half a large pork loin.
You'll need to measure and trim so the belly will wrap completely around the loin with a little extra room for shrinkage during cooking.
That belly's skin is going to shrink, I learned by doing, you can learn from my experience... Pics later.

View attachment 460996

View attachment 460997

Put the loin into a wet brine (1T Kosher salt per cup of water) and brine for a minimum of 12 hours, 24 hours or more is better.
I allowed mine to brine for 36 hours.

Score the skin with a razor sharp knife or razor blade, cutting only through the skin and barely into the fat, do not cut through into the meat.
You'll want to make the cuts so when the cook is finished you can slice the Porchetta through the cuts.
(You'll note I made my cuts wrong, live and learn)
Then rub liberal amounts of Kosher salt into it and allow to air dry for a minimum of 12 hours, longer is better.
I allowed mine to dry for 36 hours.
The cuts, salting and drying is to help with turning the skin into cracklins at that end of the cook.

Scored skin after drying.

View attachment 460998

The original recipe calls for pork liver pate in the stuffing, I couldn't source it am doing without it.
The rest is easy to source, kosher salt, minced garlic, fennel seed, fresh herbs: fennel fronds, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano.
You can see the amounts of herbs I used, no actual measurements, I just eyeballed it and minced them.

Fresh Herbs

View attachment 460999

You'll lay the belly out with cotton twine laid under ready to truss it all up tightly.
Then salt it, then generously coat with minced garlic, conservatively with the fennel seed and lastly the freshly minced herbs.
Then lay the loin atop it and with some helping hands wrap the belly around it and tie it up tightly.

View attachment 461000

View attachment 461001

View attachment 461002

And let me show you, this thing is not small, it's a huge roll of piggy!

View attachment 461020

Okeydokey, all tied up and ready to cook.
I opted to smoke at 300° over a mix of cherry and hickory.
I ran multiple therms for IT, and my goal was to pull at 120° IT and have the loin finish at 140° during the broiler stage turning that skin to cracklins.
Turned out I should've pulled at 110° cause it ran over to 150°, but that long brine saved the loin from drying out and it was good to go.

Smoking along nicely.

View attachment 461004

Ready for the broiler
Please note, I had to roll the Porchetta side to side to get even coverage of the cracklin skin.
I used bamboo skewers stuck thru it to turn it side to side.
No lollygagging during this stage, hands and eyes on to prevent burning.

View attachment 461005

Cracklin Skin!

View attachment 461006

Slices!
A really sharp serrated carving knife with fine serrations will saw through the cracklins.
Also you can cut fairly easily through the areas that were tied.

View attachment 461007

View attachment 461008

So, I made my mistakes, live and learn.
But it came out pretty damned good, it was well reviewed by the family.
And let me tell you about the cracklins... OMG'osh so freaking good!


Cut your belly with a liitle extra room for shrinkage.
Tie it up tightly, that belly's skin is going to shrink and contract during cooking.
And stop and think about which way the scoring cuts need to go.
Learn from my experience.


View attachment 461003
That looks great man! At away to make the work pay off :)
 

forktender

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
2,345
1,559
Joined Jun 10, 2008
Porchetta, it'a a PITA but worthwhile.
Why? Becuase this oh so succulent, fatty, juicy and savory roll of pork and herbs is decadently delicious.
Which make the labor of making and cooking it worthwhile.

Start with the better part of a whole, skin-on pork belly and half a large pork loin.
You'll need to measure and trim so the belly will wrap completely around the loin with a little extra room for shrinkage during cooking.
That belly's skin is going to shrink, I learned by doing, you can learn from my experience... Pics later.

View attachment 460996

View attachment 460997

Put the loin into a wet brine (1T Kosher salt per cup of water) and brine for a minimum of 12 hours, 24 hours or more is better.
I allowed mine to brine for 36 hours.

Score the skin with a razor sharp knife or razor blade, cutting only through the skin and barely into the fat, do not cut through into the meat.
You'll want to make the cuts so when the cook is finished you can slice the Porchetta through the cuts.
(You'll note I made my cuts wrong, live and learn)
Then rub liberal amounts of Kosher salt into it and allow to air dry in the fridge for a minimum of 12 hours, longer is better.
I allowed mine to air dry for 36 hours.
The cuts, salting and drying is to help with turning the skin into cracklins at that end of the cook.

Scored skin after drying.

View attachment 460998

The original recipe calls for pork liver pate in the stuffing, I couldn't source it and thus am doing without it.
The rest is easy to source, kosher salt, minced garlic, fennel seed, fresh herbs: fennel fronds, sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano.
You can see the amounts of herbs I used, no actual measurements.
I just eyeballed what I figure would be enough to generously season the belly and minced them.

Fresh Herbs

View attachment 460999

You'll lay the belly out with cotton twine laid under ready to truss it all up tightly.
Then salt it, then generously coat with minced garlic, conservatively with the fennel seed and lastly the freshly minced herbs.
Then lay the loin atop it and with some helping hands wrap the belly around it and tie it up tightly.

View attachment 461000

View attachment 461001

View attachment 461002

And let me show you, this thing is not small, it's a huge roll of piggy!

View attachment 461020

Okeydokey, all tied up and ready to cook.
I opted to smoke at 300° over a mix of cherry and hickory.
I ran multiple therms for IT, and my goal was to pull at 120° IT and have the loin finish at 140° during the broiler stage turning that skin to cracklins.
Turned out I should've pulled at 110° cause it ran over to 150°, but that long brine saved the loin from drying out and it was good to go.

Smoking along nicely.

View attachment 461004

Ready for the broiler
Please note, I had to roll the Porchetta side to side to get even coverage of the cracklin skin.
I used bamboo skewers stuck thru it to turn it side to side.
No lollygagging during this stage, hands and eyes on to prevent burning.

View attachment 461005

Cracklin Skin!
And let me tell you about the cracklins... OMG'osh so freaking good!
Everything that came off during slicing I claimed by way of Chef's Privilege.

View attachment 461006

Slices!
A really sharp serrated carving knife with fine serrations will saw through the cracklins.
Also you can cut fairly easily through the areas that were tied.

View attachment 461007

View attachment 461008

So, I made my mistakes, live and learn.
But it came out pretty damned good, it was well reviewed by the family.

Learn from my mistakes/experience.
Cut your belly with a little extra room for shrinkage.
Tie it up tightly, that belly's skin is going to shrink and contract during cooking.
And stop and think about which way the scoring cuts need to go.


View attachment 461003
That looks amazing chilerelleno chilerelleno I haven't had that in years. My Nona used to make it for Sunday dinners. Yours looks out frick'in standing.
 

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,954
7,048
Joined Oct 17, 2016
Man that’s beautiful Chile!! One ton of work but it sure does look worth it!! I’d tear some of that up.
That looks great man! At away to make the work pay off :)
Thanks guys, much appreciated.
It was some work, but at least it was kind'a staggered out.
The results were worth it though, breakfast is a thin slice with Sunnyside eggs and lunch is a big slice.
 
Last edited:

xray

Master of the Pit
OTBS Member
3,912
2,497
Joined Mar 11, 2015
Oh that’s definitely worth it Chile! Looks like pure deliciousness to me! My gram would make something similar to this when I was a kid.

I’m a huge fan of fennel too...the wife, not so much.

It all looks amazing!
 

chopsaw

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
★ Lifetime Premier ★
9,994
6,330
Joined Dec 14, 2013
That looks great . I like the color you got . I get what you're saying about the direction of the score lines , but I'm thinking the way you did it may be an improvement .
Nice work !
 

HalfSmoked

Epic Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
10,794
3,353
Joined Jun 11, 2015
Looks great. I can see where for sure it is a lot of work but worth the benefits.

Warren
 
Last edited:

Bearcarver

SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
Group Lead
41,763
14,156
Joined Sep 12, 2009
OMG---That looks freaking Fantastic, Chile!!
Beautiful !!
Great Step by Step too.
Nice Job, all around!
Like.

Bear
 

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,954
7,048
Joined Oct 17, 2016
Looks awesome !! My last adventure into porchetta :emoji_sunglasses: didn't go so well .
Thank you very much.
Try again, tastes pretty dang good even if not 100%.
That looks amazing chilerelleno chilerelleno I haven't had that in years. My Nona used to make it for Sunday dinners. Yours looks out frick'in standing.
Very kind, thanks man.
Sounds like Sundays were good days.
Oh that’s definitely worth it Chile! Looks like pure deliciousness to me! My gram would make something similar to this when I was a kid.

I’m a huge fan of fennel too...the wife, not so much.

It all looks amazing!
Thanks, sounds like you're Gram had it going on.
Me too, though I'm not a big fan of black licorice I do like the subtly of fennel.
Particularly the bulbs when roasted or sauteed, they're delicious!
 

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,954
7,048
Joined Oct 17, 2016
That looks great . I like the color you got . I get what you're saying about the direction of the score lines , but I'm thinking the way you did it may be an improvement .
Nice work !
Appreciate it, thanks.
I think it really made it easy to roll and tie, I'm also thinking I could simply checkerboard it or tie it in more places as they were fairly easy spots to slice at.
Color was nice and I was pleased with my outcome.
Thanks again.

Looks great. I can where for sure it is a lot of work but worth the benefits.

Warren
Thank you Warren.
Nicely done Chile.
Thanks
 

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,954
7,048
Joined Oct 17, 2016
OMG---That looks freaking Fantastic, Chile!!
Beautiful !!
Great Step by Step too.
Nice Job, all around!
Like.

Bear
Thanks John, means a lot coming from you.
I do like doing the Step x Step pictorials.
Appreciate ya
 

chilerelleno

Legendary Pitmaster
OTBS Member
SMF Premier Member
7,954
7,048
Joined Oct 17, 2016
Very nice job chili. A work of art for sure. On my to do list
Thanks Jake.
It's been on mine for awhile, this was my first skin-on one.
Like you I'm sure, my list is never ending.
 

Latest posts

Hot Threads

Top Bottom
  AdBlock Detected

We noticed that you're using an ad-blocker, which could block some critical website features. For the best possible site experience please take a moment to disable your AdBlocker.