The porchetta is a savoury, fatty, and moist boneless pork roast originating in Central Italy. There is evidence of recipes going back to the 15th century where a whole pig was deboned, seasoned, rolled, and cooked on a pit—which is why the meal was historically reserved for a crowd.
The dish was also a favourite of Rome’s infamous Nero and often served in Roman army camps, to hungry soldiers and the poor people.
Today’s porchetta is usually cooked on a spit for six to eight hours, unlike the ancient Roman version which was cooked underground. As a porchetta cooks, the skin forms a crispy crust that insulates the moisture of the meat. Crunchy pork crackling exterior and moist layers of thick white pork? Count me in my friend, and to top it all off I can pretend I’m a Roman Emperor whilst eating it.
I decided to all go all fusion on you for this recipe as I was given some marvellous Irish Black Butter, which isn’t actually a dairy product as you might think, but is in fact made from Armagh Bramley Apples, cider, brandy, treacle and a blend of spices which conjure up a smooth cross between sweet and savoury. The Irish Black Butter Company opened for business in October 2017 by Alastair Bell formerly in the farming trade. You can read more about Irish black butter here.
To get my tasty Irish treat I started by scoring the outer layer skin with a Stanley knife. Yes, a Stanley knife, the skin is thick and tough but is going to give you some amazing crackling so it’s worth the effort.
Next, I gave the skin a good massage with olive oil and seasoned with salt. This helps draw the moisture of the skin for a super crunchy crackling.
I turned the slab of meat over and rolled out the joint, seasoned the underside with salt and pepper and a good layer of the Irish Black Butter.
Next I made a filling in the food processor by adding a whole bulb of smoked garlic, five sprigs of rosemary and five sprigs of sage. Blitzed until fine I then added a layer on top of the Irish black butter.
I rolled the pork so that all of the meat was inside and the skin left exposed.
Next is the ultimate fun. Tying that shit with a butchers knot. Now, I have actually done this a few times before and even then I can’t tell you how many curse words were used whilst tying this together! My best advice is get over to YouTube and watch and re-watch a good video several times until you will eventually nail it as I did!
I stuck this bad boy on the Rotisserie the gleefully watched it spin for a few hours until the internal temperature hit 70C. Took about three hours in total and believe me, well worth the wait.