Porchetta

Porchetta is normally eaten as a roast for a special occasion dinner, but when I was in Italy recently, we actually had it as a thin sliced sandwich meat. We got some porchetta, salami, and cheese for a train ride from Venice to Florence, and I was completely hooked on the porchetta. I happen to have a commercial meat slicer in my possession, so I thought it would be a fun theme for a party to make some different sliced meats for sandwiches. So here we are, lunchmeat week on TFimB! This porchetta tasted EXACTLY like the one I had in Italy which is pretty lucky because I just sort of winged the recipe. It was fairly easy to make and everyone loved it so I would consider it a big success!
Most recipes don't brine the pork, but because this is for thin slicing on sandwiches I thought the brine would be a great way to get the right texture and flavor throughout the meat. After it brines for 2 days, it's time to wrap the thing. This is the most fun part of the whole process. A nice pretty package. After the pork is cooked and cooled, it is ready to be sliced. Perfect slices of porky deliciousness. I topped these sandwiches with a simple giardiniera/olive salad. I quick pickled cauliflower, carrot, and red pepper, and mixed it with olives and pepperoncini peppers. These were the favorite sandwiches of the day by far! Stay tuned all week for more tasty sliced meats.
I used an 8 pound pork loin, and a 12 pound pork belly for this recipe. I cut them both in half to make everything more manageable. Usually porchetta has the skin of the pork belly on the outside to get really crispy, but this being made for sandwiches, I used a skinless pork belly.  

Porchetta

  • Brine
  • 1 Gallon Water
  • 1.25 Cups Salt
  • 1/4 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Head Garlic
  • 4 Branches Rosemary
  • 3 Branches Oregano
  • 10 Bay Leaves
  • 2 Tablespoons Fennel
  • 2 Tablespoons Peppercorns
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Pepper Flake
  • Pesto
  • 5 Cloves Garlic
  • 2 Tablespoons Salt
  • 1 Branch Rosemary Picked
  • 2 Branches Oregano Picked
  • 25 Basil Leaves
  • Other
  • 8 Pound Pork Loin
  • 12 Pound Pork Belly
  • Butchers Twine

Instructions

  1. Put the water, sugar, and salt into a pot and bring to a simmer. Cook 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Add all the other ingredients. Let cool fully. Pour over the belly and loin. Brine for 2 days.
  2. In a food processor, process the pesto ingredients with a good amount of olive oil. I cut my pork belly and loin each in half to make 2 more manageable porchettas instead of one huge one. It also made everything fit better. Lay out the pork belly onto the counter and brush the herb mixture onto the pork. Place the loin on top of the belly and roll the belly around the loin. Use butchers twine to secure the pork (use this video as a guide if you don't know how to tie a roast). Roast at 325 for about 3 hours until you get an internal temp of 150 at the deepest center of the porchetta. Cool fully and slice thin for sandwiches!