This pork belly porchetta recipe, a simple version of a classic Italian dish, is made using pork belly infused with fresh herbs and fennel.–Nichola Fletcher
LC Pork Belly Infatuation Note
The American infatuation with all things pork belly continues. Here, in this contemporary riff on a traditional Italian recipe, pork belly is infused with fennel seeds, thyme, rosemary, and, unexpectedly, honey. It’s left to cook low and sloooooooooow to create a tantalizingly and mind-bendingly tender pork belly porchetta. You can halve the recipe if you’re so inclined, though we think once you taste this pork belly porchetta, you’re going to want to make as much of it as humanly possible.
Pork Belly Porchetta
- Quick Glance
- 30 M
- 4 H
- Serves 8 to 12
Special Equipment: Butcher's string or kitchen string; instant-read thermometer
- 10 pounds (5 kilograms) skin-on, boneless pork belly, butterflied in a single rectangular piece
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons coarse sea salt
- 2 sprigs thyme, leaves stripped from the stems
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 10 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for the roasting pan
- 6 tablespoons honey
- Juice of 2 limes
- 1. Preheat the oven to 475°F (250°C).
- 2. Pat the pork belly dry and place it, skin side down, on a cutting board. Sprinkle the meat with pepper and half the salt and rub it in. Let it rest for 5 minutes.
- 3. Sprinkle the thyme, rosemary, and fennel seeds over the pork and then rub it in along with the garlic. Gently roll up the pork and tie it crosswise with pieces of butcher’s string at 1/2-inch (1-centimeter) intervals. Try to keep as much of the garlic and herb rub inside the pork as possible (although if a little filling spills out, it’s not the end of the world).
- 4. Coat a roasting pan with a little oil and place the pork in it. Using your hands, spread the remaining 1 tablespoon salt along with the 2 tablespoons oil all over the outside of the pork. Turn the pork seam side up. Roast the pork, uncovered, for 15 minutes, then turn it over and roast for another 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 300°F (150°C) and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 hours more, until the center of the pork registers 165°F (74°C) on an instant-read thermometer.
- 5. Remove the pan from the oven. Add the honey and lime juice to the pan drippings. If desired, while the pork is still in the roasting pan, turn to coat it with the pan juices and honey and lime juice. (Spoiler Alert: Slathering the meat in the honey and lime juice is going to elminate any chance of shatteringly crisp crackling—you know, the crisp pork skin atop the roast. But it will be tasty. It’s up to you whether you want to follow this portion of the instructions.) Transfer the pork to a cutting board and let rest for at least 10 minutes.
- 6. Skim the fat from the surface of the cooking juices in the roasting pan and then stir. Pour the juices into a warmed bowl. Cut the meat into thick slices, discarding the butcher’s string, and pass the juices on the side.