1 5–6-pound piece fresh pork belly, skin on
1 (trimmed) 2-3-pound boneless, center-cut pork loin 3 tablespoons fennel seeds
2 tablespoons crushed red pepper lakes
2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 orange, seeded, thinly sliced
Put belly skin side down; arrange loin in center. Roll belly around loin so the short ends of the belly meet. If any of the belly or loin overhangs, trim meat. Unroll; set loin aside.
Toast fennel seeds and red pepper lakes in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Tip spices into a bowl; let cool. Finely grind spices in a spice mill and transfer to a small bowl, along with the sage, rosemary, and garlic; set fennel mixture aside.
Assemble porchetta according to steps 1-5 below.
Refrigerate roast, uncovered, for 1-2 days to allow skin to air-dry; pat occasionally with paper towels.
Let porchetta sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Preheat oven to 500°. Season porchetta with salt. Roast on rack in baking sheet, turning once, for 40 minutes. Reduce heat to 300° and continue roasting, rotating the pan and turning porchetta occasionally, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of meat registers 145°, 1 1/2-2 hours more. If skin is not yet deep brown and crisp, increase heat to 500° and roast for 10 minutes more. Let rest for 30 minutes. Using a serrated knife, slice into 1/2″ rounds.
HOW TO ASSEMBLE
- Set belly skin side down. Using a knife, score the belly lesh in a checkerboard pattern 1/3″ deep so roast will cook evenly.
- Flip belly skin side up. Using a paring knife, poke dozens of 1/8″-deep holes through skin all over belly. Don’t be gentle! Keep poking.
- Using the jagged edge of a meat mallet, pound skin all over for 3 minutes to tenderize, which will help make skin crispy when roasted.
- Turn belly and generously salt both it and loin; rub both with fennel mixture. Arrange loin down middle of belly. Top with orange slices.
- Roll belly around loin; tie crosswise with kitchen twine at 1/2″ intervals. Trim twine. Transfer roast to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet.
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