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Pork Belly Porchetta

This show-stopper of a dish is well worth the time it takes to make and prepare. Crispy crackling surrounding a tender, slow-cooked meaty middle. We served it with creamy mashed potato spiced up with Gran Luchito Chipotle Mayo and a gloriously garlicky salsa verde which cuts through the rich, fatty meat perfectly. This is what dreams are made of!

We cooked ours on a Big Green Egg ceramic barbecue as part of our exciting collaboration. Check out the other recipe ideas we came up with. You could just as easily do this in the oven though!

  • Prep time

    24 hours

  • Cook time

    5 hours

  • Total time

    29 hours

  • Ideal for

    Dinner

  • Make it

    Mexican

  • Serves

    6

How to make it

  1. You’ll need to start this around 24 hours, or at least the day before you want to start cooking it, giving the skin enough time to properly dry out which will give you the best crackling.
  2. Toast fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry pan for a few minutes until fragrant.
  3. Place in a pestle and mortar or food processor with rosemary leaves, thyme leaves, peeled garlic cloves, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Combine to form a smooth paste and add to a mixing bowl along with olive oil and Gran Luchito Chipotle Paste.
  4. Toast some pine nuts in a dry pan and roughly chop. Add this to the bowl along with a generous handful of roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley. Mix well.
  5. Place pork skin-side down on a board and add paste to inside surface. Spread all over the meat then roll up and tie in place with string as tightly as possible.
  6. Rub fine salt all over the surface and into the score lines and place in the fridge overnight to completely dry out. Remove from fridge and allow to come to room temperature (about an hour), patting skin with kitchen roll to remove any moisture that remains and rubbing on a bit more salt.
  7. Whilst waiting for your porchetta to come around to room temperature, light your Big Green Egg and set it up for indirect cooking, with the plate setter with legs up. Place a large baking tray/drip tray on top of the plate setter with plenty of water inside. Place the stainless-steel grid resting on the plate setter legs. Get it to a steady 160C (the top main vent should be completely closed with the daisy wheel half open. The bottom vent should be about 2 fingers width open). If looking for extra smoky flavour, wrap some wood chips in a double-layer tin foil pouch with tiny holes poked in the top. This will stop the wood chips from lighting and burning too quickly.
  8. Place meat over the drip tray and lower lid. Leave for around 2 hours before checking, maintaining temperature at 160 C.
  9. Prick holes all over the potatoes and rub with olive oil. After 2 hours, check porchetta and arrange potatoes around the meat on the grid. Leave for another hour and 15 minutes before checking again.
  10. Meanwhile, prepare your salsa verde. In a pestle & mortar, mash together peeled garlic cloves and anchovies. Get it to a reasonably smooth paste.
  11. Chop a big bunch of parsley and basil leaves as finely as you can on a board with a sharp knife.
  12. Place anchovy/garlic paste into a mixing bowl along with the chopped herbs. Add red wine vinegar, finely chopped capers and a few good lugs of extra virgin olive oil. Mix well and add more olive oil to bring it to the consistency you like (we like it reasonably loose so it can be drizzled). Taste to see if it needs any more vinegar before adding extra. Leave aside.
  13. Remove potatoes when they are nicely browned on the outside and tender when you squeeze them (probably around 1 hour 15 minutes, but this will vary). Leave pork in.
  14. Leave to cool then cut in half lengthways and scoop out flesh into a large pan/bowl ready for mashing (you can make crispy filled potato skins with the jackets!).
  15. Add a knob of butter, a pinch of salt and pepper and the Gran Luchito Chipotle Mayo. Mash well getting rid of all lumps.
  16. Ramp up the heat of your Big Green Egg to 225 C (open top vent very slightly and open daisy wheel fully. Open the bottom vent to be about a third open. The skin will puff up and go nice and crispy at this temperature. Take care not to burn it as it will go from deliciously golden to black in no time. It should take around 20 minutes. You’ll need to check every now and again, taking care to burp the egg each time. When checking, try not to open the lid for too long as this will reduce the heat each time.
  17. When happy with skin, remove porchetta and leave to rest for 20 minutes or so before slicing how you like it. To make slicing easier, you could remove the crackling and cut it separately.
  18. Serve a slice of porchetta with mashed potato and drizzle with salsa verde.

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