Cook big pieces of meat in your oven during the winter to fill the air in your home with warmth and animal fat vapor. Porchetta (pronounced "porketta," and sometimes spelled that way, too) is a pork roast made up of the belly tied around the loin with a few goodies spread around in there.

The best meat porkurement option is to call your local artisanal butcher to see what's kept on hand. If you can plan far enough ahead (or are lucky with your timing), she will make a custom cut for you where the loin and belly are still attached, and you roll the whole thing up. If you don't have time to wait for a large piece of a hog to come into the shop, you cannot be assured that your belly and your loin came from the same pig. What we're doing here is definitely from two different pigs. The belly is from a Berkshire hog -- known for their richness and notably modest lifestyle in light of that richness. Napoleon from Animal Farm (every Wonker ought to have a copy of Animal Farm, no?) was a member of this rare and prized breed. Consult with the butcher about the size of your party and how much leftovers you want (a lot of leftovers).

The supermart usually doesn't have uncured pork belly on hand because bacon is the Greatest Food In All The Land, but you might find it in the freezer section. Otherwise, the meat department can probably special order it for you. Or forget the hassle of getting pork belly, and buy one of those big pork loins (NOT the "tenderloin") from the grocer, and cut it so it rolls out flat about 3/4-1 inch thick.

It would be very helpful if you have a probe thermometer that you can leave in the meat while you cook it.

Porchetta

6.5 lb slab of uncured pork belly

2.5-3 lb boneless pork loin roast

1 bulb fennel, thinly sliced

8-50 cloves of minced garlic, to taste

Enough chopped herbs to cover the whole loin and the inside of the belly, to include parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, etc.

Zest and juice of 1-2 lemons

Enough whole spices to cover all surfaces of the meat, to include black pepper, mustard seed, fennel seed, coriander, cumin

Salt

Allow your meat to come to room temperature.

Crank the oven to 500 motherfucking degrees.

Toast the spices in a dry frying pan, and grind them kinda coarsely with some salt in your mortar and pestle.

Mince up the garlic together with the herbs and lemon zest.

Lay out the belly, and rub it down with salt and spices on all sides. Rub herb mixture and spread the fennel slices on the inside of the belly.

Rub salt, herbs, and spices all over the loin, and place it on top of the belly in such a position as to allow easy rolling.

Roll the belly around the loin. Tie with butcher's twine. You can google up butcher's knot to do it proper, or you can just do like four or five granny knots equally spaced across the roast. Rub lemon juice all over the outside of it.

Place the roast directly onto your oven rack, with your thermometer's meat probe in the fattest part of the loin. To prevent conflagration, put a pan under the roast to catch all the drippings. After your meal, you can save that fat in a jar in your fridge until you use it all up however you want to, you pervert.

Turn the oven down to 350, and roast until the meat reaches and internal temperature of 145, or about 15-20 minutes per pound.

Let it rest under a tent of aluminum foil for 20-30 minutes before slicing. Don't feel too bad about picking a taste off for quality control purposes.

Uncured pork belly is a treat that makes you feel delightfully greasy, inside and out.

Leftover and chilled, this roast is easy to slice thinly for for sandwiches.

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