This pork loin in the style of porchetta is an Italian classic that blends pork loin with a pork shoulder, fennel, and rosemary filling, to make an impressive, celebration-worthy entrée.
Pork Loin in the Style of Porchetta
- Quick Glance
- 50 M
- 2 H, 15 M
- Serves 4 to 6
In a 10- to 12-inch saute pan, heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Add the sliced onion and fennel and saute until softened and lightly browned, 7 to 8 minutes.
Add the ground pork or sweet Italian sausage, fennel seeds, rosemary, garlic, and 1 to 2 tablespoons pepper (depending on your taste), and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pork is no longer pink, about 10 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and let cool.
Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C).
Meanwhile, place the pork loin flat on your work surface and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Add all but 1 tablespoon of the fennel fronds, the bread crumbs, and eggs to the pork mixture and mix gently. Spread the mixture over the pork loin. Roll it up, starting from a long side, like a jelly roll, and tie with butcher’s twine.
Scatter the red onions in a roasting pan and place the pork loin on top. Drizzle the pork and onions with olive oil and rub to coat. Roast for 75 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 135°F (57°C).
Remove the pork loin from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.
Slice the pork loin into 1-inch-thick pieces. Serve the pork drizzled with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and a good squeeze of lemon, garnished with the reserved fennel fronds, and with the onions on the side. (You can toss any leftovers in the fridge and slice them thin for the king of sandwiches the next day.) Originally published July 5, 2005.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
This is the kind of pork loin dish that I would automatically make twice as much of, just so that I could hide half and have it the next day, without having to share it with guests. I knew before I even started that I would like this, it totally pushed all of my buttons; pork, fennel, rosemary. But I had no idea, that on the same plate, they would come together to be one of the most memorable meals I’ve had in months. I’ll be dreaming about this one for a while yet.
Leftovers make a KILLER sandwich. I made a big mess of sauteed rapini, just so I could pile that on the sammie as well.
This is one of those fabulously creative pork loin recipes that allows you to make an otherwise daunting dish easily at home! A traditional porchetta is a labor-intensive Italian dish that most people associate with a fine Italian sandwich shop or authentic street vendor in Tuscany. I was excited to have a simple recipe that truly encapsulates the classic flavors of a porchetta (fennel, garlic, and rosemary) in an approachable recipe.
Here, a boneless pork loin in filled with a fragrant stuffing made with a sauté of onion, fennel, garlic, ground pork, herbs, fennel seeds, and bread crumbs and roasted in a hot oven so that the outside gets browned and crisp, and the inside moist and tender. Beautifully sliced and arranged on a plate with olive oil mashed potatoes and roasted fall vegetables, this porchetta-style pork loin was a hit!
As for the recipe itself, it definitely feeds more than 4 people. My stuffed 4-pound pork loin easily fed 6 hungry people. I ended up with way too much filling for the butterflied pork. I would like to try making this with only about 1 pound of ground pork to see if that would suffice.
I thought the addition of the fresh bread crumbs and egg to the cooled filling really helped make the stuffing bind together and become a true "stuffing" texture inside of the rolled pork.
The only couple of things I would suggest altering with the recipe would be to season the outside of the rolled pork with salt and pepper after it is tied and ready to go into the hot oven. Also, with the pork going into such a hot oven for its entire cooking time, I would suggest drizzling a couple tablespoons olive oil over the prepared pork loin before popping it into the oven; this should ensure a crispy browned crust! Also, because the heat is high and steady the entire time, I added some white wine to the pan about halfway through its overall cooking time. I wanted to ensure a moist interior for the porchetta. Both of these changes worked well for me when making this dish!