This stuffed roast pork porchetta is a great centre piece for an Easter feast.
Stuffed roast pork porchetta is a great alternative to some classic meats you might expect on the dinner table.
Lamb is the obvious choice for Easter but we want to give you another option to please your guests – this stuffed roast pork porchetta is also a great option for any Sunday roast dinner. A porchetta involves taking a de-boned piece of pork and filling it with stuffing, rolling it up and then roasting it. It’s of Italian origin and is usually cooked with the fat and skin still on to make it extra tender and juicy.
Traditionally cooked over wood and for a long period of time (around 8 hours) we have created a recipe which needs half the cooking time but will still give you a succulent piece of pork.
- 2kg pork belly, bone removed
For the stuffing:
- 2tsp fennel seeds
- Olive oil, for frying
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 200g pork mince
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1 apple, grated
- Small handful sage leaves, finely chopped
- 4tbsp breadcrumbs
- 45g pistachios
- Juice and zest of 1⁄2 lemon
- 1⁄4tsp grated nutmeg
- Score the pork belly skin with a knife in a criss-cross pattern. Lay the cut belly ona board and place, uncovered, in the fridge overnight.The next day, make your stuffing. Dry-fry the fennel seeds in a pan over a high heat for 1-2 mins, then tip into a pestle and mortar, and leave to cool. Grind well, then mix with a pinch of salt and place in a large bowl.
- Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the onion. Season andcook gently over a low heat for 10 mins. Add the garlic, and cook for another 2 mins, then add the mince. Cook until the mince is browned. Set aside and leave to cool.Put the mince and onion mix in the bowl with the fennel seeds, and add the egg, apple, sage, breadcrumbs, pistachios, lemon juice, zest and nutmeg.
- Lie the pork belly on a board, skin-side down. Roll the stuffing into a sausage shape and place, lengthways, down the middle of the belly. Wrap the sides of the belly around the stuffing and tie with butcher’s string. Place seam- side down in a roasting tin, uncovered, and chill for at least 2hrs, preferably overnight. You want the skin to dry out so t crisps up when you roast it.
- To cook the pork, take it out of the fridge about an hour before cooking to come to room temperature. Heat oven to 180C/Gas 4 and cook the pork for about 2 hrs, turning the tin every 30 mins or so. After 2 hrs, turn the heat up to 220C/Gas 7 and cook for another 20 mins. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15-20 mins. Carve and serve with sides.
Top Tip for making Stuffed roast pork porchetta
If you have time, allow the meat to rest in the fridge overnight (uncovered) as it really helps get that crackling going
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Former Assistant Headteacher, Samuel has a BSc in Food from the University of Birmingham and is also Co-Vice Chair of the Guild of Food Writers and a Trustee of 91 Ways CIC. His work has featured in national and international publications including Waitrose Food, Australian Delicious, and the LAD Bible Group. Samuel has also consulted on a number of best-selling food and drink books, and was a nutritional consultant for BBC’s Eat Well for Less.
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