This simple and traditional Italian pork roast is the ultimate crowd-pleaser, and the crackling is amazing.
- 1 (2.7-3 kg / 6-7 lb) loin-in pork belly
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup kosher salt, divided
- 3 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed (minced)
- zest of 1 orange
- Freshly ground pepper
- 3 sprigs parsley, leaves minced
- 3 sprigs rosemary, leaves picked
- 2-3 tbsp Amaro (see Note)
- 1½ tbsp fresh orange juice
- 1-2 cups canola oil
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Heat oven to 180°C / 350°F.
Butterfly the loin by making a deep incision in the meaty part of the belly. Drizzle olive oil over the surface of the meat then sprinkle 1 tablespoon salt, the chile flakes, garlic, orange zest, parsley and rosemary. Grind over a little pepper. Drizzle the amaro and orange juice over meat. Work the mixture into the meat with your finger tips.
Starting at the loin end, roll the meat as tight as possible. Make incisions lengthwise on the skin-side, about 1.2 cm (½ -inch) apart from each other from end to end. Do not cross hatch the incisions. Tie the rolled meat tightly using butcher twine and place seam side down on a resting rack fitted with a baking tray underneath. Season the outside of the roast with remaining salt and roast the porchetta until an instant read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of meat registers 65°/145°F, about 3½ hours.
When the meat is almost done, heat the canola oil in a medium saucepan until a deep-fry thermometer reads 180°C /350°F. Remove the porchetta from the oven and ladle the hot oil over the skin until the surface of the roast becomes crispy and blistering. Be careful - but you should totally do it because IT IS WORTH IT AND WILL TASTE F-ING AMAZING.
Let the porchetta rest for 15 to 20 minutes before slicing.
• Amaro is an Italian digestif; it has deep caramel notes that I want to put inside the porchetta.