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This dish has, perhaps, become the single most requested of my recipes. It's not hard to see why. The combination of flavours combined with the texture of crunchy skin giving way to creamy pork flesh is hard to beat. It is definitely not a "quick and easy" recipe, but if you have time to dedicate to it, you will certainly be repaid in the slightly inappropriate moaning noises your companions will make as they tuck in.

Watch Simon Make His Porchetta Recipe

Porchetta Recipe

(Serves a lot)


  • 1 whole pork belly (with skin and fat layer intact)

  • 1 Cup of Kosher Salt

  • 1/2 Cup Ground Black Pepper

  • 1/4 Cup Ground Fennel Seeds

  • 1/4 Cup Olive Oil

  • 2 White Onions (sliced)

  • 5 Lemons (zest all of them, then slice)

  • Assorted "hard" herbs (for example, Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, Oregano, etc.) - Finely chopped

  • 1 Whole Head of Garlic (Peeled and Minced)

  • Butcher’s Twine


  1. Score the skin of the belly with a sharp knife (approx 1/4 in distance between cuts). Try not to cut through to the flesh.

  2. Rub the skin with 1/2 the salt salt mixed with ground fennel seeds & ground black pepper.

  3. Mix a gremolata of chopped garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, oregano, olive oil, salt and pepper, and rub on flesh side.

  4. Roll the belly into a cylinder and tie tightly with butcher’s twine.

  5. Drizzle the outside of the belly with olive oil.

  6. Place on cooking tray which you have layered with sliced lemons, onions & halved heads of garlic. If the belly is too big, you can cut the cylinder in half.

  7. Allow to rest for at least an hour (I sometimes allow it to rest over night). The salt will draw liquid out of the skin, which will make the end result crunchier.

  8. Pre-heat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

  9. Cook at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes until skin begins to crackle.

  10. Tent the belly loosely with foil, and reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

  11. Cook until the internal temperature of the belly reaches 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

  12. Increase the heat of the oven back to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the foil from the belly and cook for a further 10-15 minutes making sure the skin does not burn.

  13. Remove the belly from the oven, cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes.

  14. Slice and serve.

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