Gabriele Taddeucci’s Porchetta
Head Chef, Balla, The Star
Foreward and recipe by Gabriele Taddeucci
When I was a kid I used to wait for Sundays to come, mainly for two reasons. The first one because I was allowed to watch the morning cartoons on TV and the second one because of the amazing aroma that wold spread around in the house.
Since then I’ve always had the passion and the desire to cook and eat roast meat to celebrate my Sundays. That’s why these days I’m keeping this tradition alive cooking roast meats at Balla.
My favourite one is the roast pork, or Porchetta, cooked like my mother taught me. We need to start prepping it the day before, by seasoning the meat with a lot of sea salt, freshly cracked pepper and chopped herbs. This part of preparation is very important, because the meat needs to lose some water and absorb the flavour of the herbs and spices. I always allow a day.
The following day we start the cooking process at a low temperature, which is the best way for all of the fat to melt and penetrate throughout the meat.
I cook my roasts for several hours, sometimes 4-6, depending on the size and the most important thing is taking care to regularly glaze the meat with its own juice and fat, so to keep it moist and tender.
1 pork loin de-boned, belly attached, skin on
2 bunches rosemary
2 bunches sage
20 fennel seeds
5 garlic cloves
50g Sicilian salt
10g black pepper
1 litre white wine
Pick the herbs and chop them with the garlic by using a knife and not a mixer.
Place the loin on a bench and small incisions all around the loin and the thickest part of the meat. In each little hole created, sprinkle salt, pepper and some of the herbs. (This process will help the herbs/spice penetrate throughout the meat.)
Cover the entire belly with remaining salt, pepper and herbs.
At this stage roll the porchetta and ensure the belly side is under the loin. To do that, use a strong butcher twine and roll firmly.
Once rolled, place pork on a rack in the fridge and allow the moisture from the meat to drain out overnight.
The next day, take the pork out of the fridge for an hour before cooking slowly in a roasting pan for at least 5 hours at 130C.
Check regularly and pour about 200ml of wine every 45 min – this will help create a beautiful meaty jus.
When the porchetta is cooked, turn up the heat to 200C until the skin crackles.
Take out of the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Slice the porchetta and serve with roast potatoes, seasonal vegetables, crusty ciabatta and extra virgin olive oil and a good red wine.
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