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Porchetta with Fennel, Pancetta & Sage - Em's Food For Friends

Porchetta with Fennel, Pancetta & Sage

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A true Porchetta is a boned and rolled suckling pig, stuffed with flavourings such as its own offal, fennel and herbs and then cooked over a fire pit. Not so this one as A. I didn’t have a suckling pig and B. I am not Italian and this is purely an Em’s Food version of this deliciously flavoursome pork roast. I have seen loads of variations of this recipe but I chose the ingredients purely based on what I already had. Pork & Fennel, Pancetta & Sage, together in food matrimony. A match made in food heaven.

I bought an already rolled pork loin from the butcher that I cut the strings and then re-rolled once I had layered the ingredients inside. I recommend using a good quality free range pork loin for this recipe. It really does make a difference. To achieve the perfect crispy skin, it is a good idea to remove the pork from its wrapping and pat the skin dry with paper towel. Pop it in the fridge uncovered for a good few hours to really dry the skin out before rubbing with oil and salt.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: Approximately 2 hours (depending on pork size)

$$ Medium Budget

Serves 6

1.5kg rolled and boned pork loin

1 tsp of fennel seeds, ground with a mortar and pestle

8 slices of pancetta

12 sage leaves

Grated rind of 1 lemon

1 tsp of chilli flakes

2 tbs of olive oil

Sea salt and cracked pepper

2 cups of dry white wine

Pre heat the oven to 220°C

To stuff the Porchetta, cut the strings from the pork and lay it out flat, skin side down. Lay the pancetta slices all over the pork flesh in an overlapping fashion and then top with the sage leaves and sprinkle over the fennel seeds, lemon rind and chilli flakes.

Cut 5 good lengths of kitchen string and roll the pork back up nice and tight. You may need an extra pair of hands to hold the pork while you tie the string, about an inch and a half apart along the loin. It is easiest to tie the middle strings first and work your way out.

Place the Porchetta on a rack in a baking tray, or use large sprigs of rosemary as a rack in the bottom of the roasting pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt and black pepper. Pour in the wine and place the pork in the really hot, preheated oven for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 200°C and bake for a further hour. Check the liquid in the bottom of the pan periodically and top up with water if it is drying out too much.

A good guide for cooking pork roasts is approximately 30 minutes per 500gm. Once the pork is cooked, remove from the oven and allow to rest for a good 15 minutes before carving.

I like to remove my crackling before carving as it is a lot easier to get even slices and I then cut my crackling with kitchen shears or scissors. Drizzle the pan juices over the pork or make a gravy by adding a tablespoon of plain flour mixed with a couple of tablespoons of cold water. Whisk until lump free and then pour the flour mixture into the roasting pan over a low heat (remove the rack or herbs first). Once it starts to thicken, flavour with stock or just use water and stir until you have a nice thick, rich gravy. You can be a little creative with your gravy and add a tablespoon of balsamic or red wine vinegar or even dissolve quince paste in the liquid to sweeten it up a bit.

Serve your Porchetta with roast vegetables or salad of your choice.

Leftover Sage? You may like to cook this…..

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