Porchetta a la BBQ

Now this was a challenge on a small BBQ!

But the end product was an exquisitely tasty pork with delightful crackling. Done properly and with the right pork belly, the fat will add fabulous flavour to the loin inside and will dissipate dramatically to leave you with a wonderfully contrasting delicious (remarkeably unfatty) outer circle as well. Our favourite part of the porchetta was, in fact, the outer circle of belly pork.


6 pound piece of skin-on pork belly

3-4 pound boneless pork loin

3 TBS fennel seeds (you can subtract a TBS of fennel seeds and add an extra TBS of sage if you wish)

2 TBS dry red chili flakes

1 TBS dry sage (or 2 TBS fresh)

1 TBS fresh minced rosemary

3 garlic cloves, crushed

Coarse sea salt

1/2 an Orange, thinly sliced


The herb mix: Toast the fennel seeds a chili flakes in a pan over a medium-high heat for a minute or two until you can smell the fragrance. Remove them from the pan and let them cool in a bowl. Medium grind the fennel seeds and chili flakes in a spice/coffee  grinder. Mix with the sage, rosemary and garlic.

Lay the belly out skin down. Place the loin in the centre and roll the belly around it. Trim any excess belly or loin. To ensure a tight closing fit, trim some meat and fat away, thinning out one end of the belly so that when circling the loin you get a comfortable one inch overlap. Unroll again. Set the loin aside. With the belly still skin down, score the upside flesh with a sharp knife creating diamonds the entire width and length of the belly. Make the cuts at least 1/4 inch to ensure all the juices can escape into the loin when cooking. Flip the belly over so that it is skin-side up. With a very sharp pointed knife, prick a couple of hundred 1/4 inch holes all over the skin. Go wild! You want the fat to secrete out as it cooks. Turn the belly over again. Rub coarse salt liberally into both it and the loin. Rub in the herb mix into both. Place the orange slices in a row in the middle of the belly. Place the loin on top of the orange in the centre of the laid out belly and roll the belly around it closing it all around the loin. Tie  kitchen twine around the belly at one and half inch intervals. Rub coarse salt liberally all over the rolled belly. Place on a wire rack and into a roasting tray. Leave in the fridge for  24-48 hours. Occasionally dab moisture away from the pork.

When ready to cook remove from the fridge and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours.Preheat the BBQ to 500 degrees F (260 C). Roast on the wire rack in the roasting pan for 45 minutes, turning once. Reduce the heat to 300F (150C) and roast for another 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning occasionally. It’s best to use a temperature probe. When inserted into the middle, it should read 145 F (62c).  If the outside is not beautifully crackly, ramp the temperature back up to 500F (260C) again and nuke it for 10 minutes. Remove and let it cool for 30 minutes before serving. Using a serrated knife,  cut 1/2 thick portions. Serve with vegetables, roast potatoes and a nice thick brandy infused gravy.

It’s a showstopper!




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