Porchetta Stuffed with Grilled Lemon, Onion, Fennel and Figs
From Michael Noble, chef and owner NOtaBLE and The Nash.
- 1 pork belly (6 lbs), naturally raised, skin on – loin may also be attached
- sea salt and ground black pepper
- 1 onion, cut in half, core removed then each half cut in half crosswise
- 2 whole lemons, skin on, sliced into 4 pieces, crosswise, seeded
- 1 fennel bulb, cut in quarters lengthwise
- 2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt
- 12 dried figs, cut into quarters
- 1 t. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 T. minced flatleaf parsley
- 2 T. grainy mustard
Preheat the oven to 375°F. and preheat a roasting pan at the same time.
Trim any visible sinew from the pork belly and place it on a piece of plastic wrap, meat side up. Keep chilled.
Place the onions, lemons and fennel into a stainless bowl, drizzle the olive oil over then toss gently with salt to season. Grill the onions, lemons and fennel on a medium-hot barbecue, making sure the lemon slices are in contact with the grill. Lower the heat and continue grilling with the lid closed until the veg and lemons become tender. Turn them every minute or so to keep from burning.
Remove the vegetables and lemon slices from the grill, place on a baking tray to cool to room temperature. (If it’s too cold outside or a barbecue isn’t available, the fruit and veg can be roasted on a baking tray at 375°F. until tender)
When at room temp, coarsely chop the vegetables and lemons and put them in a stainless steel bowl. Mix in the figs, thyme, parsley and mustard. Mix to combine well. (This can be prepared a day in advance and kept covered in the fridge.)
To stuff the pork, season the meat surface liberally with salt and ground black pepper.
Place the filling the length of the pork on one side in a pile approximately 2-inch wide by 1-inch high and 2“ from one long edge. Starting at the edge closest to the filling, lift and roll the pork belly into a roast, rolled tightly with the filling in the centre.
When rolled, tie the roast tightly with butcher twine at 1-inch intervals the length of the roast. Rub the skin of the pork with olive oil, then season liberally with salt and pepper.
Place a dash of oil in the bottom of the roasting pan, then put the porchetta roast skin side up in the pan.
Roast for 25 minutes then reduce the heat to 325°F. After about 2 hours, check the internal temperature of the pork using a meat thermometer that should read 140°F. to be juicy and slightly pink in colour. If you want the meat well done, roast till 150°F. When roasted to your liking, remove the pork from the roasting pan, let it rest on a tray in a warm area. After 10 minutes lay a piece of aluminum foil over the roast.
To serve: carve the roast into 3/4 to 1-inch thick slices and lay them on a platter. Try to keep the crackling (skin) intact, if it falls off, just garnish the platter with the crackling.