Porchetta…An Italian Classic

Porchetta is an Italian classic that dates back to Roman times. It is a young pig that is deboned, stuffed with herbs and seasonings and spit roasted over a wood fire until its crackling skin is a deep mahogany color.  If you have traveled in central Italy anywhere from Tuscany to south of Rome, you have probably tasted this rich and succulent pork. It is sold from porchetta stands and customized little white trucks at street fairs and feasts, open air markets, sporting events and even alongside roads.

I have made my version of porchetta that doesn’t require a whole pig, a large spit or an open wood fire. It doesn’t even require a small suckling pig or commercial oven. All you need is a pork loin and your regular home oven. Now I know what you must be thinking…that using a pork loin means a bland, tough and dry piece of pork but that is not the case with this recipe. Instead you are going to end up with a delicious and moist pork roast that is scented with fennel, sage, rosemary, thyme and garlic.

My porchetta recipe takes some advance planning as I want you to brine the meat to ensure that the pork is tender and moist. It will then be stuffed with a herb and pork belly paste, rolled and refrigerated for 24 hours so that the flavors penetrate the meat.

Porchetta With Roasted Potatoes and Onions and Roasted Asparagus

Porchetta With Roasted Potatoes and Onions and Roasted Asparagus

 

Porchetta

This recipe will serve 8 or more.

  • 6 1/2 lb. pork loin, butterflied into a rectangle about 1 inch thick*
  • 3 Tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh sage
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 c. diced salt pork belly, any rind removed (sometimes called salt pork)**
  • garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper
  • olive oil

I told my butcher that I was going to be making a pork roll and asked him if he would butterfly the loin. He sliced, continuing to roll the meat until it was a large rectangle about an inch thick. Make friends with your butcher…and always be sure to thank him.

**You may question the amount of pork belly, but this is what is going to keep the loin moist. As the loin cooks, the fat melts, bastes the meat and runs out.

Make A brine with 4 Tbsp. each of kosher salt and sugar mixed with 2 cups of boiling water, let cool then add enough water that will completely cover the roast (about 8 cups, depending on the size of the container). Place butterflied pork roast in a large container (I used a large oven roaster) and pour the cooled brining liquid over it, adding additional water, if necessary to totally cover the pork. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.

In the meantime, place the fennel in a spice grinder and grind to a powder. Place the fennel powder in a processor along with the red pepper flakes, black pepper, garlic, sage, rosemary and thyme then process until chopped fine. Add the diced salt pork belly to the mixture and process until a paste is formed (will look like soft butter).  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Drain the pork loin, rinse and dry well. Lay the rectangle out and spread the herb paste evenly over the loin. Roll the loin from the short side tightly back into its original shape and tie with cooking twine every inch. Season the entire outside of the loin generously with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Wrap well in plastic wrap, then foil and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Let the pork come to room temperature before roasting (about 2 hrs.). Unwrap the loin, pat dry and rub generously with oil. Place the loin on a roasting rack in a roasting pan with about two inches of water (to eliminate smoke). Place in the hot oven for 15 minutes, then turn the heat down to 325 degrees and roast about 20 minutes per pound until a meat thermometer registers 135 degrees. Remove from the oven, tent with foil and let rest for at least 30 minutes. The temperature will continue to rise as it rests.

If you would like a natural gravy (which I would suggest), add 1 c. of white wine and deglaze the drippings in the roasting pan, scraping up all the brown bits. Pour into a gravy separator and let the fat rise. Pour the juices into a sauté pan and add half an onion chopped,  2 garlic cloves, 4 c. of beef broth, and 2 Tbsp. of balsamic vinegar and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the sauce and return to the pan. Make a slurry with  1 Tbsp. of flour and 3 Tbsp. of water and add to the sauce. Season with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer until reduced to the desired consistency.

****

I think that once you have tasted this Italian classic, porchetta will become one of your favorite recipes, especially when entertaining. Depending on the season, sautéed greens, roasted peppers, or a green salad would go nicely with the pork. I had a casual dinner with friends recently and served roasted sliced potatoes with onions along with roasted asparagus topped with shaved Pecorino Romano cheese. The meal got rave reviews, as I sure your guests will be giving you when you prepare this flavorful Italian meal.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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252 Responses to Porchetta…An Italian Classic

  1. wow..your pork loin looks just delish.. i love how you used ground fennel, great idea.. lovely post..sarah

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sarah, Thank you for your nice compliment. The fennel in this dish gives it such a wonderful taste. In Italy, they use wild fennel but no such luck finding that here in New England. :)

  2. That is such a delicious dish, and I love the way that you have adapted it to a loin of pork. Great memories of Italy.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Roger, for your nice compliment. I’m happy to say that the pork loin worked well in this dish. Yes…this dish brought back good memories of Italy for me as well.

  3. Karen, “Delizioso”! What a perfect meal, and you made a traditional dish so easy with your step by step. Just printed this out and thank you!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Didi, Thank you for your lovely compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post and recipe enough to pin…I appreciate that very much.

  4. Norma Chang says:

    Really love this idea. With just a bit of planning, an elegant and delicious meal. Talk about easy entetaining, this is the recipe. Did you roast the potatoes and asparaus the same time as the roast in the same oven? I “liked” the post but nothing happened.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Norma, This was a perfect meal for entertaining. I roasted the potatoes part of the way with the pork before our guests arrived. I finished the potatoes and roasted the asparagus right before I served the dinner as our guests were having cocktails…easy peasy as they say.:)

  5. I have always wanted to try porchetta. That is so nice that your butcher butterflied your pork loin for you! The paste sounds so flavorful and that gravy sounds like it takes this whole dish over the top. Sounds wonderful, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Becki, I do think you would enjoy the porchetta…it makes such a wonderful meal. The herb paste is what makes it so special as it adds flavor and moistness to the meat. You are right that the gravy takes it over the top. I always ask the butchers at our grocery store if they can butterfly the meat as they have the proper knives and are true professionals. I make sure to go back and thank them again afterwards and let them know how well the dish turned out. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  6. kate says:

    Wow, Karen! That looks incredible!

  7. Chef Emil says:

    Just marvelous!!!! You are correct the planning and patience in preparing this dish make all the difference. I have made it en croute and stuffed with pate. this is always a favorite of guests as the presentation is over the top. Yours looks so very yummy and your photos are beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Emil, for your nice compliment. Planning ahead ensures that the meat will be tender and flavors get a chance to penetrate the meat. I agree with you about serving a meat that is encased with pate and pastry…it does make a lovely presentation.

  8. Karen, this is a fantastic recipe – this would be just perfect for our festive Easter lunch. Your instructions and explanations are clear and very helpful – I would go with that natural gravy that you suggested – kids always, always ask for gravy – and the presentation of your beautifully roasted porchetta is just perfect – it will be a while, though, before we can buy green asparagus here but string beans would be delcious too! What a fabulous post and recipe!
    Have a great Friday!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Andrea, for your lovely compliment. I do think that this would be a lovely Easter meal. The pork that you get in Germany is much nicer than what we have here…ours is raised to be so lean. And yes, the kid in myself and my husband likes gravy as well. :) The spargel season in Germany should be starting in the middle of April if I remember right…until then string beans would be delicious.

  9. Is there any left? I can be there by lunch…if I start now ;)

  10. I am soooo bookmarking this one. It looks extraordinary!

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your nice compliment, Natalia. Believe me, this is one dish that tastes even better that it looks…it is so good. I hope you enjoy it.

  11. ChgoJohn says:

    Porchetta is such a wonderful way to prepare a pork roast, Karen. Your brining of the meat and use of salt pork would pretty much guarantee a succulent, flavorful roast. Your guests must love it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, Our guests did enjoy the meal and were talking about it the next day. The pork we get is so lean that the brining and the salt pork turned it into such a delicious and very moist roast. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  12. Thank you Karen for sharing such a great recipe. I do love porchetta and your beautiful picture made me want some as well as remembering how much I do enjoy it every trips I take to Italy.
    Thank you for simplifying for all of us.
    Giangi

    • Karen says:

      Hi Giangi, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and recipe for the porchetta. It is a very easy recipe to make with just a little planning. This dish reminds me of my travels in Italy as well and the delicious porchetta that I had there. Thank you very much for your lovely compliment.

  13. Karen Harris says:

    I can only imagine how delicious this is. I think brining makes all the difference in cooking meat. I will be making this. I was wondering what I was going to make for Easter. I just might have my answer. Thanks.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, This is truly a delicious pork dish. Between the brining and the paste, the meat is moist and flavorful. I do think this would make a great dish to serve at Easter. I hope you will enjoy the porchetta and thank you for your nice compliment.

  14. Now I’m hungry…I love porchetta! This brings back memories of the delicious porchetta rolls we had in Rome! I may not be back there for a while so your recipe looks a great alternative and it doesn’t look too tricky for me to try!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenny, I think anyone who has traveled to the area around Rome and had a porchetta roll falls in love with it. I do think you will find this an easy dish to prepare at home to bring back the memories from your trip. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  15. Katerina says:

    Brine makes the meat so much more tasty and soft than cooking it as it is! I love your porchetta Karen. The pork looks so juicy and delicious!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Katerina, I have to agree with you about brining as it helps to create a moist and tender piece of meat. I’m happy to know that you like my porchetta recipe. Thank you for your nice compliment…it was juicy and delicious.

  16. Monique says:

    I am very impressed! Had it in Italy and at our friends’ 40th anniversary renewal vows..her son is a chef and he made it..so wow Karen:)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you very much Monique, for your kind words. This porchetta is something that I know that you could prepare easily…I hope you will give it a try.

  17. YUM! This looks lovely – I must make friends with a butcher, right after I find one! :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kelli, I’m happy to know that you like the looks of the porchetta. I buy my meat at our local grocery store…not a specialty meat shop. As long as there is a butcher in the back of your meat department, I think he will be happy to help with any request. Thank you for your nice compliment and good luck finding a friendly butcher. :)

  18. You are a star chef, Karen. I would have never trusted myself to prepare such a sophiscated recipe. It looks moutwhatering!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angie, I truly appreciate your wonderful compliment. Believe me…I know that you can make porchetta. If you can get a butcher to butterfly the pork loin for you, have cooking twine and a food processor, you can make this dish. I try to make all my recipes very approachable so that anyone can prepare them. The porchetta does make a nice presentation and is delicious but it is not complicated to make with a little planning.

  19. karen says:

    This looks delicious!!! My mother in law has made it before, but yours looks even better – thanks for sharing.

  20. gotasté says:

    Oh what have I missed…I did not see this when I was in Tuscany for holiday….thank you for sharing this recipe Karen. It looks really tasty!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Danny, I’m sorry that you didn’t get to try porchetta on your trip to Tuscany. It is delicious and I hope you get a chance to prepare it now that you have a recipe. Hopefully you will have an opportunity to return to Italy and have a porchetta roll in one of the open air markets. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  21. Fantastic! I hadn’t heard of brining porchetta before. And a great tip about putting some water in the oven, while roasting. It looks incredibly delicious! no wonder your friends gave you rave reviews!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Jo, for your lovely compliment. I think that brining helps retain moisture in the pork loin. I find that adding a little water in the pan keeps the drippings from smoking in the beginning of the cooking process. The porchetta was delicious and I’m especially pleased that someone that lives in the area of Italy that is famous for porchetta approves of my recipe.

  22. Ciao Karen … you wouldn’t believe the coincidence, but we had porchetta sandwiches for lunch today! I live in the Castelli Romani, just south of Rome, and Ariccia is famous for its porchetta.I loved your method … but had never heard of brining the pork before … I wonder whether that’s because there was less fat in your cut of pork, than the one I used? http://myhomefoodthatsamore.wordpress.com/2011/07/17/pushing-my-luck-with-porchetta-a-second-attempt/ Hope all is well with you and yours,Jo.x(myhomefoodthatsamore lady) Date: Fri, 22 Mar 2013 11:11:19 +0000 To: pinojo@hotmail.com

    • Karen says:

      Ciao Jo, I can’t believe that you had porchetta sandwiches today. I am familiar with the area where you live…it is in the hills outside of Rome, not far from the summer palace of the Pope, I believe. Your area produces some lovely wines if I remember correctly. Yes, the reason I brine the pork loin is because the pork in our country is bred and raised in such a way that it is very lean. From your photos, I can see that what you used is pork belly. I can’t get the whole piece where I live but can get small pieces…that is what I used to make the paste with. Thank you again for your lovely comment.

  23. That is the grand-daddy of pork loin right there! Yes, make friends with your butcher, they can make life easier. Beautiful recipe and dinner, Karen. A wonderful meal to relax and chat around the table with friends. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Judy, for your nice compliment. I try to get to know as many people as possible in my grocery store…from the butcher to the produce manager. If I don’t see something or have a special request, most of the time they are very accommodating. Sitting at our table with friends sharing good food and wine made for a very pleasant time.

  24. Porchetta is ambrosia! The real deal is wonderful, but for almost all of us the real deal isn’t one of those homemade dishes! This looks every bit as good, and it’s something all of us can do. Great job with this! And you’re so right that it pays to be friends with your butcher. My supermarket butcher will do virtually anything I want, but I have to ask. There’s another market that I often go to — more upscale in that they offer prime grade meat (among other things). Anyway, the butcher always asks what I’m making, and always offers to prepare meat for the dish — cut it into stir-fry pieces, for example, or butterfly it, or whatever. This is one of those markets where everything is behind a glass counter, so you have to ask the butcher for what you want. Nice thing about this market is when they find out what I’m making, they’ll direct me to a different cut of meat than I had specified if they think it’d be better for the dish — and often their suggestions are for a less expensive cut. Anyway, I’ve gotten OT, but this is really a superb recipe. Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, I’m happy to know that you like my recipe. I totally agree with you that porchetta is delicious. Even though I have a commercial style stove, the prospect of a whole young pig fitting in my oven wouldn’t work. Plus just think how many people it would take to eat it…I don’t have that big of a table either. :) I have the same kind of a butcher at our regular grocery store. When I explained what I wanted to prepare, the butcher cut that loin like you would veneer a log. He suggested a cut of meat that I had never had before when I made my beef pie for St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, do make friends with your butcher. I enjoyed your nice comment as always.

  25. This would look so pretty on a buffet. Lovely recipe. I do agree about brining pork loin. While I like brining most any cut of pork, I almost always brine loin. And I love the addition of the pork belly.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jeannee, Thank you for your nice compliment. I have to agree with you that this would be wonderful on a buffet. I think brining a pork loin is very important as the meat is so lean. The addition of the pork belly paste acted like an interior basting and made the meat very moist.

  26. This is gorgeous. It would make a great Easter dinner. I’m pinning this one :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Anna, for your lovely compliment. I do think that this would be a wonderful dish for Easter. It is nice to know that you liked my recipe enough to pin it…I appreciate it very much.

  27. Bravissima Karen, i just returned from Tuscany and had a version just like your recipe above– complimenti!!!!! a presto Myriam, DiVine Tours

    • Karen says:

      Hi Myriam, Welcome home! I was just wondering if you were back from your trip. I’m very happy that you approve of my recipe…that is a real compliment from someone that spends part of her life where porchetta is enjoyed on a regular basis.

  28. Susan says:

    Oh my, that looks good with the crispy potatoes and asparagus! My son-in-law makes the most amazing porchetta and fills them will all sorts of different and delicious things. I should try it myself soon. I really like this recipe!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan, I’m happy that you like the meal that I prepared…it was delicious. In italy when they roast the whole pig, they sometimes use the liver and other things as a stuffing. I’m bet that your son-in-law makes a terrific one. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  29. The roasting of the pig in this post reminds me of the Southern barbecue process. I wonder if they stole that from the Italians..

    • Karen says:

      Hi Southern, I agree with you. I think that roasting a whole pig like this can be found in many countries…it is just techniques that may differ.

  30. That is a fantastic interpretation of a classic dish..I’d like to try this next time I do a big Italian family dinner! We used to eat this when we went to Rome to visit family, but haven’t had it for years. I’m sure my dad would love to taste it again :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Tanya, for your lovely compliment. I’m happy that you like my version of porchetta. It is a great dish to make for a big get together and I hope you and your family will enjoy it.

  31. sybaritica says:

    I think brining is one of those things that has become a bit of an overused culinary fad, but this is one of those applications where it REALLY works beautifully. Looks great all around!

    • Karen says:

      Hi John, I agree with you that pork loin is so lean that the brining really does work to ensure moist meat. I’m happy to know that you like the porchetta…thank you!

  32. that’s a fancy and juicy pork loin….
    perfecty crusted outside
    i salute you for your knive skill on butterflying the pork loin…..

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Dedy, for your lovely compliment. I wish I could take credit for the butterflying but I asked my butcher to do that for me. He had the knives and talent to do it properly and he did it beautifully.

  33. Eva Taylor says:

    What a beautiful dish Karen, you really have outdone yourself and it presents so well. I like using the loin because it’s not as fatty as the rest of the cuts, so this would be perfect for me (sans the pork belly). I’m definitely bookmarking this for the next dinner party!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Eva, for your kind words. I’m happy to know that you like my porchetta recipe. You can certainly leave the pork belly paste out of the recipe but I personally think it is one of the reasons that the meat is flavorful and juicy. It melts as it is roasting and bastes the meat from the inside out. It basically runs out of the roll as it cooks and is much like basting a chicken or turkey.

  34. Your asparagus and potatoes are the perfect accompaniment to this porchetta. What a lovely presentation and meal for your dinner guests!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Allison, for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. Our dinner guests really enjoyed this meal…my husband and I did as well.

  35. I’m such a huge fan …the fennel + sage gets me every time =)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Angela, I have to agree with you that the fennel and sage are such a wonderful combination in this dish…it adds great flavor. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  36. Love all the flavors in your porchetta… you can never go wrong with lots of herbs!

  37. I’m so glad that I don’t have to haul a little porker off to the butcher. This looks absolutely succulent and I thank you for your brine suggestion. I’ve never added sugar to mine and will definitely be giving that a try. I agree that being on a first name basis with your butcher is a bonus. Not only does mine help with any type of special cutting or trimming, he often steers me to his suggestions for better cuts, cooking tips, and of course steering me away from what’s been hanging around too long. I do miss the old butcher shops that used to get the full cuts of meat w/the huge bones that my dog loves.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Diane, The porchetta was indeed succulent. I think the brining and then the herb rub made this a delicious pork dish. Getting to know your butcher and asking for his help and advise is very helpful for all the reasons you have mentioned. I appreciate your visits and comments…thank you.

  38. A_Boleyn says:

    I bring my butchers baked goods … they’re always happy to see me. :) Great pork loin dish.

  39. This looks outstanding! I love Porchetta. Any leftovers will make a kick-a$$ sandwich :D Yum!!! Happy Friday Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Anne, The pork was the best I’ve ever made…so moist and flavorful. You are so right, it makes terrific sandwiches. Thank you for your compliment and wish. Have a lovely weekend.

  40. I will be making this pork for sure. It sounds very good by the ingredients. Today, I made Tuscan bean soup and my husband really loved it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donna, I’m happy to know that you like the recipe…I hope you will enjoy it. Tuscan bean soup is a favorite in our house. Thank you for your visit and nice compliment as always.

  41. Karen, my local sells this like you make it rather than a suckling pig. It won product of the year in the UK in the atonal butchers guild awards. It was delicious, but was still dry as I believed it lacked enough marinade. I love how yours swirls right through the joint. You should sell this.

  42. Yummy…this is mouth watering.

  43. What a fabulous recipe. I just love everything about it. Including, especially as I’d never heard of brining until I started my blog, the instructions for doing so. Brining seems to be more of an American thing to do. Shall definitely try that out.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Johnny, for your nice compliment. The pork we buy here is so lean…brining the pork loin really makes a difference as it helps keep the meat moist.

  44. I can’t resist porchetta whenever I see it on a menu. Yours looks perfect Karen! :D

  45. This looks insanely good, especially with the potatoes as a side!

  46. That is a beautiful roast. I’ve never tried a brine before so I might have to give this a try. It would be great for an elegant Christmas dinner.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Mary,for your nice compliment. You are right…this would be nice for Christmas. The brine really helps when you cook lean pork as it keeps the meat from becoming dry.

  47. Eha says:

    Oh, I have not had porchetta for ever so long and can’t wait until I have a few people in the house to enjoy this! Perhaps for Easter. Am going to follow the recipe every step of the way and think that will be the first but, by far, not the last time! It tastes moist before one has cooked it!! Fully agree about butchers: allow them to ‘show off’ their knowledge a bit and they’ll smile every time you enter the shop :D !

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eha, I’m happy to know that you like my preparation for porchetta…it turned out moist and delicious. I’m glad you agree with me about making friends with a butcher. They are so pleased when I go back to let them know how successful a meal was because of their help and advice.

  48. Michelle says:

    Such a wonderful version of an always delicious dish. And those sides look marvelous!

  49. Love, love, love it. Porcetta has always been on my bucket list of things to make after my visit to Tuscany. However, many recipes as you have described using the whole pig and ingredients not available in Asia but your recipe is perfect. I can wait to give it a try and the gravy sounds beautiful.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your nice compliment, Bobbi. I think this is a recipe that anyone can prepare no matter where they live…no hard to find ingredients in this meal. The gravy is a nice accompaniment to this dish.

  50. Wow, all that aromatic herbs rolled into the meat… sure makes it flavorful. I like the sides, too!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Fae, You are so right about the herbs…they are what give this dish its wonderful flavor. The side dishes went perfectly, I thought. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  51. Beautifully done, Karen, with a fabulous flavor profile. This is a meal truly fit for a King. Thanks for sharing.
    Apparently, we are on the same wavelength of late because I fixed a pork loin roll for dinner tonight with Ethiopian seasonings and a spinach and goat cheese filling. :)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Richard. The porchetta really had a lot of flavor from the herb paste. Pork loin is a great piece of meat that is always a good price in our market. It just needs proper preparation to be moist and flavorful as I’m sure your Ethiopian version was.

  52. Darya says:

    Beautiful. I love the addition of fennel seeds, I do think pork and fennel were a match made in heaven! And I also like the looks of your potatoes. Beautiful post!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Darya, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. I totally agree with you about pork and fennel…they are a perfect match. I look forward to your return.

  53. Maureen says:

    Rave reviews? I bet they were lining up to move in!

  54. Tandy says:

    How fantastic that you can make this at home. I remember my first taste when we were in Assissi of this amazing pork :)

  55. Outstanding recipe, Karen. This looks absolutely fabulous. I can almost taste it vicariously.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Victoria, for your lovely compliment. This is probably the best pork I have had in a long time…wish I could share it with you.

  56. This looks absolutely delicious – pork is just such a wonderful meat and there is so much that can be done with it, as you have shown here. And making friends with the butcher is definitely worthwhile – they are fountains of knowledge! Thanks for sharing this recipe.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Girls, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the porchetta recipe. I cook a lot of pork…as you say the meat is very versatile.

  57. cabinet stew says:

    I LOVE pork! and I love how you make each recipe seem so approachable. I feel as if I may never have attempted this on my own but now I can!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Carol, I appreciate your compliment…especially about my recipes being approachable. I do try to create recipes that I think everyone can prepare. I have no doubt that you can prepare the porchetta with excellent results. :)

  58. megtraveling says:

    I have tasted it when I was in Italy and your version looks delicious!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Meg, Thank you for your nice compliment. I’m happy that you like my version of porchetta. If you can’t make it to Italy for the real thing, I think this is a delicious substitute.

  59. The streak continues. We have a loin defrosting and are planning to stuff it with a pesto mix. This looks amazing.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Greg, for your nice compliment. It is funny how often we cook similar dishes within a week of each other. Maybe it is great minds thinking alike??? :)

  60. What a gorgeous pork loin roast, Karen. I am thinking of doing something different for Easter this year, and this looks perfect. Love your natural gravy recipe, too!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Anne, for stopping by for a visit. I’m happy to know that you like my porchetta and natural gravy recipes. This would be lovely meal for Easter. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  61. This sounds outrageously delicious! I can see SO many ways to tweak the filling so it never gets old. We love pork here and I’m thrilled with a novel preparation!Thanks, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      I appreciate your nice compliment, Liz. You are right about this being a versatile recipe…it is simple enough to be tweaked to your our tastes.

  62. Susan says:

    Hi, Karen! Thanks for stopping by my blog. I’m excited to discover yours. I grew up in Italy and this meal takes me right back to Rome!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan, Thank you for stopping by. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the porchetta recipe and that it brought back memories of your time spent in Rome.

  63. Sissi says:

    Karen, what a wonderful idea to make a porchetta with pork loin. Your porchetta looks so beautiful and you know, pork is my second favourite meat after chicken, so… I love it.
    Every Saturday there is an Italian stall at my market in France sells porchetta made with a small pig. It is absolutely delicious, expensive and I would have never thought it’s possible at home. Thank you for the inspiration!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sissi, I’m glad that you like my version of porchetta using a pork loin. It has the flavors of Italian porchetta but is a dish that we can prepare in our own kitchen. I think you would be pleased with this version. Thank you for your nice compliment…I’m happy to have inspired you.

  64. Suzanne says:

    You cook some wonderful recipes that I don’t have the time or patience to make so it’s nice to come in here and see them done well and imagine eating them.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Suzanne, for your kind words. Seeing all the wonderful food creations on your blog, I know that all my recipes would be a piece of cake for you to prepare. This porchetta isn’t much different than preparing one of your roasted lamb dishes.

  65. what a mouthwatering dish! this sounds absolutely fantastic!

  66. Yum, Karen! I’ve never made porchetta but I think it’s time to try something new!

  67. A masterpiece Karen! Fabulous – love everything about it. It would be the perfect Easter dish :-)

  68. Velva says:

    This looks fabulous! A beautiful porchetta. Traveling has a way of opening your mind to wonderful food that reflects the culture.

    Love it.

    Velva

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Velva, for your lovely compliment. I do agree that when traveling, you get to try foods and ingredients that create memories that last a lifetime.

  69. wow looks amazing love how you took a classic recipe and made it doable

    • Karen says:

      Hi Rebecca, I’m happy that you like my version of porchetta. This is a dish that most anyone will be able to prepare compared to a few that might have the wherewith all to tackle a whole pig. :)

  70. musingmar says:

    That roast looks so lovely and moist! I really like porchetta and your recipe looks so good!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Marlene, The porchetta was indeed moist. I think the brining and the herb paste contributed not only to the flavor but keeping it juicy. Thank you for your nice compliment.

  71. Impressive! And those asparagus look perfect.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Rosemary, for your nice compliment. In a few weeks the spargle season will be starting in Germany and then it is you that will have beautiful asparagus. :)

  72. Carolyn Chan says:

    That looks AMAZING ! Who needs a whole suckling pig !

  73. twbarritt says:

    What a beautiful pork roll, Karen. I am in awe of the lovely pinwheel effect – not to mention the fact that it looks and sounds delicious!

  74. I am so glad you included the brining instructions, and a little relieved to see you only need about 4 hours. I think I dismiss the idea because I think it requires two day of prep and cooking but you’ve made this beauty sound relatively simple. I haven’t served a pork roast of any kind in so long because my last efforts really were rather tasteless. I still remember pork roast and chops as a child when they were fatty and frankly had taste. Now I just don’t hardly bother. But this really has me thinking differently. I’m actually kind of excited! :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Debra, You are right that the pork we get today is very different from what we grew up with. The prochetta does take a little planning. What you do the day before by brining and adding the herb paste ensures that you will have a very moist and fantastic flavored dish the next day. The day you cook, all you have to do is let is come to room temperature and stick it in the oven. This is absolutely the best tasting piece of pork I have had in years and I believe you will think so as well.

  75. Larry says:

    This sounds delicious Karen and must be tried on the smoker soon – I’ve done several stuffed loins in the past but none with primarily herbs. I have a loin roast in the freezer crying out to be made into this.

  76. adinparadise says:

    This looks absolutely delicious, Karen. Thanks for sharing your recipe. :)

  77. Well, this is not exactly on my diet for Spring, but it does look so yummy and juicy and I do love pork. I think I will just look at your photos and dream. Very pretty Karen.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Teresa, I’m glad that you like the looks of the porchetta. Actually, pork tenderloin is so lean that it might fit into your diet.

  78. zirkie says:

    This sounds utterly delicious!! I am so in love with pork at the moment! I am going to make this soon!

  79. Mmmm this porchetta looks divine! Mouth watering!

  80. I had a friend a long time ago at a place that used to work at who made porchetta and introduced me to it. I’ve spent years craving it. Thank you so much for sharing your amazing recipe, Karen. I’ve saved this recipe to prepare for my husband’s band practice. They are going to LOVE it.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Candance, for your nice compliment. I hope you will enjoy the porchetta. If your husband’s band members are like my husband, I know that this will be a big hit with them. :)

  81. Porchetta (porketta) is a popular offering on the Iron Range of Minnesota, because of the Italian immigrants who settled there. Always interesting to taste different variations of it.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kat, It is interesting to learn of the history of an area and the immigrants that brought their food traditions with them when they settled in a new country. Thank you for your nice comment.

  82. Patty says:

    I like the way you cook! All your herbs and spices make this Italian classic very special;-) A beautiful dish for a special dinner!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Patty, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. It is nice to know that you like my cooking. I do enjoy using fresh herbs in my cooking as much as possible…they contribute so much to the flavor of a dish.

  83. Carolyn Jung says:

    I’ve watched a butcher cut, roll and tie a porchetta. It’s quite the endeavor. But boy, the results speak for themselves. One of the tastiest pork preparations ever.

  84. Porchetta is a favorite of mine, but it tends to be a dish that I order out, versus making myself. This recipe might be just what I’ve been needing to turn that around!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Erina, Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I do hope that you give the recipe a try if you enjoy ordering porchetta out. I think you will be very pleased with the results. I appreciate you nice comment and look forward to your return.

  85. mjskit says:

    Well this is just downright awesome! I love the seasoning and all of the ingredients in the stuffing. I’m a huge fan of fennel and pork and see that you are as well. You did an absolutely beautiful job with the roll, something I would find quite challenging. I would need at least 6 hands. Great post!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you MJ, for your kind words, I’m happy that you like the recipe for the porchetta. I believe fennel and pork are a match made in heaven. Your might need a second pair of hands to tie the roast…one to hold while one ties the string tightly. If not, tie it in the center first to hold it together and work your way to the ends.

  86. Natalie says:

    oh my so yummy, one of my favourites!!

  87. Adri says:

    Che meraviglia!! What a glorious porchetta. I love that you “took the porchetta challenge” and made this classic doable and delicious. Bravissima, Karen!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Adri, for your lovely compliment…it is very much appreciated. I do think that porchetta is a dish that cooks should try as the results are wonderful.

  88. My Kitchen Stories says:

    Looks delicious Katen. I love that you have used a traditional brining method. I have some fennel pollen here that would probably be so lovely in that dish ( thats not to say that it is not already perfect)

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Tania, for your nice compliment. I think brining is very important when cooking such a lean piece of pork. You lucky girl having fennel pollen…it isn’t available at my area markets. It will be perfect in this dish!

  89. My Kitchen Stories says:

    Oops you know I didnt mean to call you Katen , Karen ……….

  90. rsmacaalay says:

    This looks so good, I love this pork dish and I will take a note of this so when I travel to Italy soon this will be in my to eat list

    • Karen says:

      Hi Raymund, I’m glad you like the porchetta….thank you for your compliment. Do put porchetta on your list of foods you must have while visiting Italy as you will love it.

  91. I am in in awe: I often eat porchetta here in Italy and was dubious at first when I read about your homemade version without a spit or a whole young pig. But the pictures are incredible: it looks perfect! I agree, you need to be friends with your butcher to get the right cut, but you also need to be a great cook to make something so beautiful!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Nuts, I truly appreciate your kind words. I’m am flattered that readers from Italy have liked my version of porchetta. It is something home cooks can make with delicious results. Making friends with you butcher is very important…I’m glad you agree.

  92. The word Porchetta always reminds me of an Italian Pizzeria I used to go to in London – it was popular and often packed out – great pizzas and atmosphere there, and the name of the restaurant was Porchetta and they had a comic type pig on the sign-board. Happy days !

  93. Barbara says:

    What a marvelous recipe, Karen. The flavors sound wonderful and it makes an elegant presentation. Love the idea of brining. Super dish for company.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Barbara, for your nice compliment…I’m happy that you like the recipe. The brining and herb paste makes for very moist and delicious pork. I have to agree with you that porchetta makes a wonderful dish to serve company, our guests really enjoyed it.

  94. Wow, this looks SO fantastic! I love porchetta when I have it at restaurants, but I never thought of replicating it at home. I need to do that! My husband and in-laws (who love pork and roulade-type meats) would LOVE it!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Amy, I’m happy to hear that you like the porchetta recipe…thank you for your compliment. This would be a great meal to prepare for your family. If they like pork, I sure they will enjoy the porchetta.

  95. Margaret says:

    I love pork, and I love asparagus, so I would definitely enjoy this meal!

  96. What a beautiful feast Karen. Your Porchetta is absolutely gorgeous.

  97. Mary says:

    What a very gourmet recipe! I love pork, I’m going to consider making this over Spring vacation! Thank you!

  98. Now this recipe is just in time for Easter dinner.. if I’m asked to host, I will forego the ham just this once.. or make a tiny ham on the side and make this dish. This is really spectacular! xx

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barb, I glad that my post was timely…the porchetta would be perfect for Easter. I hope you enjoy it if you get a chance to make it. Thank you for your lovely compliment.

  99. Rosa Mayland says:

    A wonderful speciality. Porchetta must taste really good. Yours looks very tempting and mouthwatering.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  100. lvaletutto says:

    Oh my gosh, this rolled pork loin looks divine! I would really love to eat dinner at your house sometime!

  101. bellini says:

    Porchetta is one of those dishes that is difficult to master in the home kitchen. It looks like you have come up with a winner.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Vallih, for your lovely compliment. I think my version of porchetta is a simple enough recipe that most any home cook could prepare it successfully.

  102. Joanne says:

    Way to take on such a classic dish!

  103. Donalyn says:

    This looks so good – I’m a huge fan of finding ways to use pork loin so that it doesn’t get dried out. Bookmarking this to try!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Donalyn, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I think that you will find that by brining and using the paste that you end up with a very moist pork roast with lots of flavor. I hope that you enjoy the recipe.

  104. This really does sound wonderful It is as pleasing to the eyes as it is to the palate. You always share such wonderful food with us. I hope you are having a great day.Blessings…Mary

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Mary, for your lovely compliment and wish. The porchetta is not only pretty when sliced but has a wonderful taste. Have a great week.

  105. ramblingtart says:

    Hi Karen! :-) Thank you SO much for stopping by my blog. It is truly lovely to meet you. After reading this post I can tell you are a kindred spirit. :-) This is stunningly beautiful and looks so delicious. :-)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Krista, Thank you for your kind words. I’m happy that you stopped by for a visit and enjoyed the post. I think we are a lot alike with our love of travel and good food.

  106. Interesting way of making porchetta at home Karen. So succlent! With pork tenderloin it´s a snap to prepare compared to the other way.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Paula, I’m glad that you like my version of porchetta using a pork loin rather than a young pig…so much easier. :) Thank you for your compliment.

  107. Wow, that is beautiful, Karen. What a treat for a special occasion.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Cathy, for your nice compliment. The porchetta is a nice dish to prepare for a special occasion or just for a group of friends. I’m glad you like the recipe.

  108. oh friend- it is perfectly rolled- perfectly cooked and did I mention just perfect! LOVE IT

  109. Kiran says:

    Comfort classic food! THanks for sharing :)

  110. Thank goodness I don’t need a spit or open fire because you have made me want to make this!!!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barb, Thank goodness no unusual equipment is necessary for this recipe. Thank you for your nice compliment and I hope you will enjoy the porchetta.

  111. My goodness, when was the last time I got to enjoy the beautiful porchetta like this!!! I could almost say I don’t remember or I’d never had! This is THE perfect meal.

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Nami, for your lovely compliment. It really was a fantastic meal that my husband and I enjoyed sharing with our friends…they loved it.

  112. afracooking says:

    This dish looks amazing – mouthwatering!

  113. A brined porchetta?? Now you’re talking my language. All sounds great Karen.

    Have a wonderful weekend!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jed, I think brining and the herb paste created an incredibly moist pork dish. The porchetta turned out delicious…thank you for your compliment. Have a Happy Easter.

  114. Lidia says:

    This Porchetta looks absolutely FABULOUS! Great pics too!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lidia, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your lovely compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the recipe and photo. I look forward to your return visits.

  115. oh my gosh! you made porchetta??? love you!! that is one of my favo carnivore foods :) please please please invite me over next time!!!

  116. Sophie33 says:

    What a truly appetizing stuffed pork loin recipe!! A georgous feast for the eyes & mouth!

  117. There is a porchetta stand set up every weekend in the farmers market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco. There are always long lines of people waiting. You would be stiff competition!

  118. I could eat this every day. My favorite porchetta story is the time I was in Rome with my daughter – 7 at the time and son 17. Chloe and I were buying it at every street vendor and eating it like it wasn’t the juicy fatty deliciousness it was leaving grease all over our fingers. My son was appalled! Love this stuff and I’ve never made it myself. I like your version here and will have to put it on the list.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Wendy, I love your porchetta story…I remember the first time I had the juicy pork in Italy. I’m happy that you like my version.

  119. viveka says:

    Looking good as always … big pork eater and lover. So juicy meat. And I love suckling pig, poor piglets. My name is Baby *smile
    Have the spring arrived yet ????

    • Karen says:

      Hi Viveka, The pork was absolutely delicious. I have a piece of it in the freezer for sandwiches later on. Yes…spring arrived this past week. The snow is gone, the daffodils was blooming and there are patches of green in the grass now. :)

      • viveka says:

        I wouldn’t mind a sandwich … *smile
        So glad that the spring has taken off .. same here, but no buds on the trees … yet, very small .. Wonderful and warm outside .. but I have to stay in with the legs up for another day, also the injections I got yesterday … make me fell pleasantly funny *smile

  120. Ciao Karen, porchetta is commonly considered a poor food – as you pointed out it is something you usually eat on street markets, fairs and sport events – yet everybody loves it! I like the way you inveted a way to make it back home!

    • Karen says:

      Ciao Martina, Thank you for stopping by for a visit. I do enjoy porchetta for the street stands when we are in Italy. I thought that my version was delicious…thank you for your compliment.

  121. Amy Tong says:

    After looking at your Porchetta, I’m craving for some. :) Yours is absolutely beautifully done. I love that you can see the herbs going around the meat.

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