Inspired by Forever Summer by Nigella Lawson & Five Quarters by Rachel Roddy
The ultimate flavour of an Italian summer.
2 kilograms pork shoulder (de-rinded, boned and butterflied)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 fennel bulb
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
2 fresh bay leaves
1 teaspoon pepperoncino / dried chilli flakes
1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons ground black pepper (preferably from freshly crushed peppercorns)
Place the pork skin-side down on a clean work surface and season it generally with salt.
In a food processor blitz the onion, garlic, fennel bulb and herbs until a fine paste.
Rub the paste over the flesh of the pork with your fingertips, massaging it in.
Roll the porchetta up tightly and tie it at 2cm intervals with kitchen twine.
Cover with baking paper, then cling-film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least 6 hours (overnight is best).
Remove the meat from the fridge at least 1 hour before roasting.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C Fan/gas mark 4/350℉, and put the pork in a roasting tin and cook for around 4 hours. It may need covering towards the end of the cooking time, so look at it after about 3 - if it looks as if it's beginning to darken too much to tent it loosely with foil.
For the last 30 minutes turn the oven up to maximum to crisp the skin into deep golden crackling.
Leave to rest for at least 30 minutes before carving and serving.
Prep time: 7 hours (but only about 30 minutes is hands-on)