1 ½kg pork belly bone out weight
½ tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
4 garlic cloves
10g sea salt flakes
2tbsp chopped rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
- Check the belly for bones and carefully remove. Score the skin, taking care to not cut into the flesh. Lay the belly out, skin side down and make a few incisions into the flesh allowing for a good penetration of flavour from the herb paste.
- Lightly toast the fennel seeds in a dry pan and set aside to cool. Finely chop the thyme and flat leaf parsley. Mince the garlic and mix with the oil, chopped herbs, salt and cooled crushed fennel seeds. This can be done using a pestle and mortar.
- Rub the herb paste into the flesh side of the pork, roll the belly fairly tightly and secure with string at 4-5cm intervals.
- The pork will benefit from being left uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours, allowing moisture to leave the skin resulting in a more crispy crackling. However, all is not lost if you do not have this extra time. The porchetta could also be cooked immediately.
- Heat the oven to 160°C/gas mark 3. Using kitchen paper, pat the skin dry before placing the porchetta on a wire rack set over a roasting tin. Roast for 3–3 ½ hours until the meat is becoming tender. Turn up the temperature to 220°C/ gas mark 7 for around 30 minutes or until the crackling is deep golden in colour. Keep an eye on the crackling and turn the heat down a little if it is over or unevenly browning.
- Remove from the oven and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving.