Easy Homemade Italian Porchetta

Easy Homemade Italian Porchetta

The first culinary recommendation we received before going to Florence was the sandwich with the famous Italian Porchetta. As soon as we arrived, I quickly dealed with the task and yes, I can tell you that it's worth trying to prepare this dish at home. It has a special charm when served cold and cut into thin slices. I liked it best in the sandwich, with foccacia, pesto sauce and seasoned with greens and vegetables. This is the perfect version and that's exactly how I recommend it.

My homemade porchetta turned out to be even better, the whole family said it beats the sandwich from Florence. With more attention to details and to the quality of the ingredients, there was no way it could have been otherwise.

Fennel is porchetta's distinguishing mark, its fine and very specific aroma is essential here. You can find it in any online spice store, maybe even in some larger supermarkets. But the hardest part for me was tracking down the right, big enough piece of meat: a whole, boneless, rind-on pork belly, not too fatty.

As I said before, porchetta is ideal when it's sliced and served cold in various sandwich combinations, but also served warm like a classic steak, soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. The leftovers can be frozen and used in various other dishes - sauce with beans, potatoes etc.


Pork belly with skin-on
2 kg
2 kg roughly said, depending on what you can find
Olive oil
5 tbsp
Fennel seed
1 tbsp
1 tbsp
I meant dried, but fresh also works
1 tbsp
dried or fresh
Garlic cloves
4 pieces
3 tbsp

Step by step


This is what the pork belly I used for porchetta looked like. It must be moderately fatty, definitely with the rind on and big enough to roll.


If it's got the rib bones in, you must remove the bones and use for other dishes.


Now we prepare the pork belly:

- Trim the corners and ends to obtain a rectangle with straighter sides, if it doesn't already have the right shape;


- If there are areas where the layer of fat is too thick, I recommend extracting it carefully: use a sharp knife to slice the lean meat but not as much as to remove. You want just to put it aside, until you reach the fatty part. Now carefully remove the fat, working gently not to damage the rind.


- Finally, unfold and lay out the belly like a book, placed skin-side down. This way, the surface which is seasoned with the spices will be larger and porchetta will taste a lot better.

Here you can add other bits of meat or tenderloin in the middle, if you want a meatier porchetta.


In a bowl, combine three tablespoons of oil, two tablespoons of salt and the four cloves of garlic, crushed.


Grind the fennel seeds in a blender or coffee grinder, as well as the rosemary and sage, if using dried.

If you are using them fresh, finely chop the rosemary and the sage.


Add these spices to the bowl with oil and garlic, mix well.


Rub the meaty side (not the skin) of the pork belly with this mixture. Massage well.


Roll up tightly into a log with the skin on the outside.


See the picture and observe how it should be.


Use butcher's twine to tie the porchetta tightly from place to place, to make sure it holds its shape after baking.

You can find the tying technique on YouTube. Type in the search bar: "how to tie a roast with a string" or "tying a loin of meat".


Then wrap the steak in a bag or cling film and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.


After this time, remove from the fridge, brush with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle over with one tablespoon of salt.


Wrap in tin foil or in an oven bag and place in the preheated oven to 200 degrees C for 1.5 hours.


After this time, remove the foil or the oven bag and brush the porchetta steak with the fat and juices which were released in the pan.

Return to the oven and you can turn on the fan, if you have this option, for the crust to brown faster.


Leave in the oven until it's nicely browned. From time to time, take the porchetta out and brush with the fat from the pan.

Finally, remove from the oven, brush with the juice again and let cool at room temperature. You can slice while it's hot and serve with any side dish you like but first remove the twine.


We prefer to make sandwiches with Porchetta. For this, I need to prepare Foccacia, according to the recipe here, only that I don't put mozzarella and pesto, I season only with rosemary, salt and olive oil.

After it cools down a bit, I cut into large pieces, enough for some hearty sandwiches.


I keep the Porchetta steak in the refrigerator for at least 12-24 hours, which makes it easier to cut into thin slices.

Cut a slice of foccacia in half, spread over with Pesto sauce, put slices of porchetta, add arugula or other greens, some cherry tomatoes or peppers and that's it. You can add some creamy cheese or mozzarella and it will be better and more delicious than a sandwich made in Italy!


Quantity: 2 kg
Prep time: 300 min
Difficulty: intermediate
Ready in: 600 min
Publish date:

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