Generally speaking, any pork roasted with herbs and spices typical for this dish can be called porchetta.
In old times, in Italy, porchetta was made from a whole pig. It was first deboned, then the meat and the fat along with its skin was rolled up, generously seasoned with spices and herbs most common for that particular region, and very slowly cooked over charcoal. The whole Italian village participated in this process. And all the villagers shared the delicious, melting in your mouth roasted pork. It was a very special treat for a very special occasion.
Porchetta is a gorgeous holiday meal, and definitely worth making it.
Fresh or dried herbs can be used for seasoning the pork. And, truly, you take control of the amount of used herbs and spices – exactly like Italian villagers did.
When buying a pork belly for your porchetta try to find a piece with its skin – the skin will create crunchy and tasty top. The pork belly for my porchetta had no skin, however the ‘charred’ and caramelized top layer of fat was still turned out crunchy and very delicious.
Homemade porchetta makes a great presentation and can be a stunning focal point on a holiday table.
Mix all the porchetta seasoning ingredients. Set aside.
Score belly skin (or belly fat flesh) with a knife making checkerboard pattern.
Put the pork belly on a board skin side down. Season it with salt and generously season with porchetta seasoning and garlic.
Season the pork tenderloin with salt. Arrange it on the pork belly crosswise. Roll tightly and secure well (very tight) with cooking twine.
Season the roll with salt and porchetta mixture. Cook the porchetta right away, or, much better, tightly wrap it with plastic wrap and marinate in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours.
Remove the roll from refrigerator 40-60 minutes before roasting.
Heat oven to 425 F (220-225 C).
Transfer the porchetta roll into an oven-proof dish or a roasting pan, add wine and roast for 30-40 minutes.
Lower the oven temperature to 375 F (190 C).
Continue cooking for 1 – 1 ½ hours or until inside temperature will be 165-170 F (75 C).
Discard the twines and slice the porchetta. Transfer onto a platter, garnish with fresh herbs, fruits or roasted vegetables, and serve.
Fresh herbs can be used in place of dried herbs.
Cook with pleasure and enjoy the world!