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Monday, 29 June 2015

Pork Belly Porchetta

I lost my mind. The kids lost their minds. Had so much fun cooking this. Steep learning curve though.
To get the briquettes hot enough (I'm an amateur at this) it took the best part of an hour and considerable fanning and rearranging. The cook time was way longer than I anticipated too. I was expecting an hour and a half but it was closer to three hours. If you're going to try this (and you should), give yourself plenty of time and, don't rush to lower the meat down closer to the heat until much toward the end. Otherwise you will burn the outside and it will be raw in the middle and that would suck. As to why it tasted sooooo good? Well apart from the smokiness and rad crackle I think it was the combination of fennel, caraway and lemon rind. You can prep  this well in advance and it probably helps to develop the flavours too.

1 charcoal spit roaster
4kg bag charcoal briquettes
Fire starters
1 piece of pork belly long enough to roll
Kitchen sting
3 cloves garlic
1 handful parsley
1 sprig rosemary
5 or 6 sprigs thyme
1/2 handful of sage leaves
Rind of half a lemon (or so)
Salt and pepper
Caraway seeds
Fennel seeds
Extra virgin olive oil

Mince the herbs, lemon rind and garlic and mix through a little extra virgin to bind. Pat dry your piece of pork belly - make sure it is well scored on the skin side. Lay the pork skin side down, season the meat with salt and pepper then distribute the herb mixture. Sprinkle through a couple of teaspoons each of caraway and fennel seed. Roll the pork and truss with kitchen sting. Watch this video to see how. Drizzle some extra virgin over the rolled meat, season heavily with sea salt and sprinkle over some fennel and caraway seeds. Refrigerate. When needed, spike with the rotisserie spike.
Get the charcoal started. When the charcoal is white and the flames have dropped away place your meat on. Adjust the height of your spit roaster to where about your hand can just handle the heat for for or five seconds. From this point forward, just sit their and drink wine. Its mesmerizing.  After about 2 hours it should start to look like the visible meat has good colour and some crackle  is forming. Drop the height down every ten minutes or so until you reach salty, crackly perfection. Serve it with something - dunno, couldn't remember the veg...

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