Love a hog roast? Then you’re going to love this Italian classic, which is stuffed full of garlic, herbs and seasoning, and is utterly sublime. This version doesn’t quite reach the highs of the Porchetta trucks that you’ll find at parks and fetes across Italy, simply because we’re not expecting you to roast an entire prepared pig, but it comes a very close second!
- Roasting Pan with Rack
- Butchers String
- 2 kg Pork Loin boned. Skin on, or off if preferred keeping a good cap of fat
- 1 whole Pork Tenderloin approx 500g
- 8 cloves Garlic crushed and peeled
- 1 tbsp Fennel Seeds or Powder
- 1 tsp Dried Chilli Flakes
- 20 g Salt
- 4 sprigs Rosemary leaves only
- 4 sprigs Thyme leaves only
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 can Cider
- Additional Seasoning
- Add the garlic and salt to a pestle and mortar, and work into a smooth paste. If you're using fennel seeds, quickly toast those in a pan and then add and continue to work down.
- Add in the herbs, the chilli, loosening with about 50ml of the cider, a little at a time, until you have a smooth paste.
- Using a sharp cooks knife, make a shallow horizontal cut into the lengthways side of the loin, pushing the loin away from you as you go. Continue to make shallow cuts and opening the loin up until you have an open flat piece. Make regular cuts every couple of inches across the width, to about half the depth.
- Trim the tenderloin of any silverskin, cleaning away any sinew as you go but trying to keep any fat.
- Get your string ready. Rub the paste into the loin, making sure that you get it into all the cuts. Place the tenderloin across the length on one side, then roll it up tightly. Tie it up tightly at roughly 3cm intervals (this doesn't have to be pretty). Rub the skin with the oil, and season the outside well.
- Put it, uncovered, into the fridge and allow to rest. If you've kept the skin for crackling, leave it for at least 8 hours, otherwise at least 2. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.
- Preheat the oven to 160C, 140C fan, gas mark 3.
- Dry the outside with kitchen paper, then set on the rack in the pan. Pour in the rest of the cider, then top up with water until it's just under the meat, but not touching. Roast for 3 hours. Keep an eye on the crackling and turn the heat up in the last 30 minutes if needed.
- Remove from the oven and rest for 20 minutes in the pan.
- Remove the string, and carve the pork into thin slices. Serve in crispy ciabatta rolls, or with a side of buttery mashed potatoes and spring greens. Don't forget to drizzle the pan juices over the meat.