- 2,5kg - boneless pork belly, skin on
- - salt and pepper
- 16 - (about 1kg) fresh pork sausages
- - a bunch of fresh spinach, veins removed and leaves blanched
- 15ml - Dijon mustard
- 100g - cranberries, soaked in sherry
- 100g - pistachios, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 First score the skin Using a sharp paring knife or craft knife, score the pork skin; make the incisions about 1cm apart across the width of the meat (or ask your butcher to do it for you). Rub generously with salt.
2 Butterfly the belly Put the scored pork belly on a clean work surface, skin side up. Using a sharp knife, cut the meat in half horizontally through the middle without cutting all the way through. Fold the meat open.
3 First layer of stuffing Arrange a layer of blanched spinach on the right half of the meat in a single layer. Remove the casing from half the sausages and spread the meat over the spinach in an even layer. Fold the top half of the butterflied meat back over the filling.
4 Second layer of filling Place 30cm lengths of kitchen string next to each other, about 2cm apart, on a chopping board or work surface. Carefully turn the stuffed belly over so the skin is now facing down on the prepared board. Spread the whole surface with mustard and season with salt and pepper. Remove the casings of the remaining pork sausages and spread the meat, pistachios and cranberries over the middle of the meat. Keep in mind that when you roll the porchetta, you want the fragrant filling to end up in the middle of the roll.
5 Roll the meat Preheat the oven to 220°C. Roll the meat up tightly around the filling and tie securely with the string. Weigh the meat to determine the cooking time: 25 minutes per 500g, plus an extra 20 minutes.
6 Time to roast! Place the meat on a rack in a roasting pan and oven roast for 20 minutes –the high temperature will ensure a crispy, golden-brown skin; keep a close eye on it. Reduce the oven temperature to 180°C and roast further for the calculated time. Tip If the crackling hasn’t crisped enough after the calculated time, roast under the grill; keep an eye on it – it can burn in an instant.
7 Serve Remove the string and allow the meat to rest for about 15 minutes before carving into thin slices and serving with cranberry-spiked gravy, roast potatoes and steamed greens.
Traditionally, a porchetta is an Italian treat prepared during the festive season. It can be made from a variety of different cuts or a combination of cuts of pork. If you want to keep to the Italian theme with your side dishes, try creamy polenta flavoured with Parmesan cheese and a large plate of roasted fennel, steamed green beans or Brussels sprouts.
Try our semolina gnocchi
Stir a large spoonful of cranberry jelly and a dash of soy sauce into your gravy to add a hint of sweetness and complement the cranberries in the filling of your porchetta.
KNOW YOUR CUT: PORK BELLY
A favourite amongst foodies and chefs, pork belly with crispy crackling needs very little explanation. The belly has some bones and cartilage attached to the underside of it, which makes carving or slicing it more difficult than working with a piece of boneless belly.
Tip Ask the butchery staff for a boneless belly with the skin scored in straight lines (this makes it easier to cut afterwards when serving).