Crispy roasted pork (porchetta)
A traditional porchetta rubbed with Vietnamese 5 spice powder.
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3-4 lb slab of pork belly
2 lb pork tenderloin, cut to same length of the pork belly
2 tablespoons Morton kosher salt
1 tablespoon 5 spice powder
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 tablespoon pepper
1/4 tablespoon ginger powder
optional brine solution
1/4 cup Morton kosher salt
1/4 cup sugar
4 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 tablespoon of seasoning rub (above)
2 quarts water
additional supplies: butchers twine, roasting rack
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Using clean small nail or safety pin, prick the skin side of the pork belly all over. Rub the meat side of the pork belly along with the sides and ends generously with the spice rub. Rub off any spices that get onto the skin. Line baking tray with foil and place on tray and refrigerate uncovered over night or up to 24 hrs. If you are also brining the loin, prepare the solution in a non-reactive plastic container until dissolved and brine overnight (we take it out of brine overnight, about 8 hrs, regardless if we dry the pork for 24 hrs). If you don't brine the loin, rub generously with spices and cover refrigerated with plastic wrap. On day of cooking, preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Take your pork belly and loin and tie in a roast (for examples look here and here) trimming any excess if necessary and rub additional spices on the ends of the loin. Tie it snug but not too tight. Place on roasting rack and roast until skin is golden brown (if necessary, rotate the roast periodically to make sure there is even browning). Depending on size of your roast and thickness of the cuts, this takes about 45 minutes or so.
When the skin is golden brown, turn the oven to high broil. Place the porchetta as close as possible to the heating element and within minutes, the skin will become bubbly and crackle. Rotate as necessary to make sure skin is evenly bubbled and crackly. Do not leave the porchetta unattended. When finished, you can double check the internal tempurature of the loin with meat thermometer (145 for medium). Allow porchetta to rest about 15-20 minutes before carving. After carving, it's also helpful to crack the pieces of skin with the the tip of your knife for easier consumption.
The crispy, crackly, and bubbly skin definitely passed the eye test of our finicky friends – and combining classic Italian porchetta with Vietnameses spices also passed the flavor test with flying colors. Serve alone with your favorite sides or with focaccia bread with caramelized onions and arugula, either way we think this will be one of the best pork roasts you'll ever tried, perfect for the holidays or special occasions.
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