Porchetta with Gorgonzola and Rocket & Pistachio Pesto

Recipe by Georgia East

"Porchetta is Italian roast pork belly and is popular for its crispy crackling. The perfect excuse for a summer picnic, porchetta is delicious as part of a sandwich with a freshly made rocket pesto and lashings of creamy Gorgonzola."

Serve the porchetta with 2020 La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon.

Porchetta with Gorgonzola and Rocket & Pistachio Pesto

Prep time: 25 mins /Cook time: 3 hours /Serves: 6-8

You will need:

  • 3kg pork belly
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme, woody stalks removed
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 3-4 sprigs of fresh sage, finely chopped
  • 15ml fennel seeds
  • 1 large lemon, zested and juiced
  • 6-8 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 40ml olive oil
  • Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper

For the pesto:

  • 100g wild rocket, washed
  • 4 tablespoons pistachios, shelled
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
  • The juice and zest of half a lemon
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

The pesto is best made step-by-step by hand or using a food processor. Finely chop the rocket and add to a bowl. Repeat with the pistachio nuts and garlic. Stir through the grated Parmesan and add the lemon juice and zest. Stirring constantly, drizzle in olive oil until the pesto reaches the desired consistency. Season with salt to taste and refrigerate until needed. The pesto will keep in a sterilised, airtight jar for up to 2 weeks once opened.

To serve:

  • A wedge of Gorgonzola
  • Extra rocket leaves
  • Focaccia or ciabatta

Lay the pork belly flat, skin-side down. Sprinkle with lots of salt and pepper and rub the seasoning into the meat.

In a bowl, combine the chopped herbs, fennel seeds, lemon zest and juice, garlic and olive oil. Brush the marinade over the pork and turn the meat skin-side up. Refrigerate uncovered for 4 hours or overnight. This allows the marinade to flavour the meat while the fridge dries out the skin, resulting in a crispier crackling. Before cooking, roll up the pork and secure with kitchen twine. For a simple guide on how to do this, see Delicious Magazine’s version below:

Cut 10 lengths of string, each about 30cm long (or see Cook School for an alternative tying method). Sprinkle the herbs, fennel seeds and garlic over the pork. Carefully roll up the from one of the long ends, then tie very tightly with string in the middle of the roll. Tie at either end, about 1cm in, then keep tying at intervals along the roll until all the lengths of string have been used up. If any filling escapes, push it back in.

Preheat the oven to 220°C. Slice the fennel bulb and red onion and place the slices in the base of a roasting dish. Place the rolled pork on top of this trivet and pour in 400ml of dry white wine or water. Rub the rolled pork with olive oil and roast in the hot oven for 15 minutes with the seam facing upwards. Turn the pork and cook for the further 15 minutes with the seam facing down. Reduce the oven’s temperature to 160°C and cover the pork with foil.

Roast the pork for a further 2 to 2.5 hours before removing from the oven. For extra crispy crackling, give the porchetta a quick blast under the grill, turning once. Rest the pork for 10 minutes before slicing.

Have the pork as a wonderful roast on your festive table or serve it as a showstopper sandwich!  (Obviously also a plan with leftovers) To assemble the porchetta sandwich, halve the focaccia and spread a little of the rocket pesto on both cut sides. Top with a slice or two of porchetta and some Gorgonzola. Finish off the sandwich with few rocket leaves and serve with 2020  La Motte Cabernet Sauvignon.





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