Recipe courtesy of Rancho Llano Seco

Charlie's Oven-Roasted Porchetta

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 4 hr 35 min
  • Active: 35 min
  • Yield: 12 to 15 servings
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Special equipment:
a spice grinder or mortar and pestle; butcher's twine
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Toast the fennel seeds in a small saute pan over low heat until fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Grind the seeds into a fine powder using a spice grinder or mortar and pestle. Set aside.
  3. With a utility knife, score the pork skin by cutting parallel straight lines about 1/4-inch deep along the length of the loin; be careful not to cut into the meat. (These scored lines will mark the width of the steaks you will cut, so space according to preference.)
  4. Once the skin is scored, flip the pork loin over. Combine the crushed red pepper, garlic, lemon zest, ground fennel and 1 tablespoon black pepper in a small bowl. Using your hands, rub the seasoning mixture into the meat side (not the skin side) of the loin, making sure the rub is evenly distributed. Next, rub 3 to 5 tablespoons kosher salt all over the loin (skin and meat) to create a thin, even layer.
  5. Once the seasoning has been rubbed into the meat, roll up the pork. If there is an overlapping lip when the pork is rolled, cut off the extra meat (leaving the skin) until the edges of the rolled roast are almost flush. Add the skinless pork trimmings to the center of the roast. Using butcher's twine, bind the roast together by tying knots every 2 to 3 inches (about 5 pieces of twine should do it, but use your judgment). Coat the outside of the rolled roast with olive oil and then with another thin layer of salt. Use your hands to rub the oil and salt into the roast.
  6. Transfer the pork to a roasting rack set over a baking sheet with a tall rim--a lot of liquid will be released, so choose a baking sheet with at least a 2-inch rim. Set on a rack in the center of the oven and cook until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast reads 150 degrees F, 3 1/2 to 4 hours. If the pork skin doesn't look crispy, raise the oven temperature to 415 degrees F and cook, watching closely, until the skin has the look of chicharron.

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