Porchetta makes a wonderful alternative to Turkey for your festive centrepiece. Porchetta originates from Italy and is a rolled joint of pork belly stuffed full of fragrant herbs. It is slow cooked for soft tender meat but still with beautiful crispy crackling on the outside. Serve this Porchetta alongside rosemary roast potatoes and fresh sautéed greens.
Begin by prepping your pork. Score the skin of the pork belly with a knife in lines at an angle across the whole skin, then place in the fridge uncovered overnight – this will help dry out the moisture in the skin and ensure you have super crispy crackling.
Meanwhile you can make the stuffing for the porchetta. In the olive oil lightly fry the onion with a pinch of Maldon salt for 5 minutes until softened. Then add the crushed garlic and fennel seeds and fry for another 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and tip into a bowl to cool. Once cooled add the lemon zest, chopped pistachios, sage, parsley, breadcrumbs and season with Maldon salt and cracked black pepper. Mix well and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
Once you are ready to cook your pork remove from the fridge. Place it on a board skin side down, and then cover the flesh with your stuffing mixture. Using butchers string carefully roll your meat and bind together in 3 or 4 places tightly to keep it in a roll.
Place the rolled joint onto a baking tray and drizzle the skin with olive oil, rubbing it in and then sprinkle liberally with Maldon salt. Place the tray into your preheated oven for 30 minutes until the crackling is crispy and golden. Then turn your oven down to 180C and cook for a further 2 hours. If the crackling begins to look a little too dark, then you might want to cover it with some foil.
After the cooking time remove your porchetta from the oven and rest for 20 minutes until ready to serve!