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Nov 7, 2012 03:13 PM

Ready-to-cook Porchetta?

Anyone know of a source for this wonderful, yet pain in the ass to prepare roast? I'd love to add one to my Thanksgiving menu but looking for one I can just pop in the oven as I have enough to do with just the traditional stuff (turkey, stuffing, gravy, veggies, clams casino, lasagna, meatballs, etc.....) :-)

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  1. Why is it hard to prepare? Just get some herbs, smear it on, tie it up and roast.
    Hard part is find a decent source of pork belly...I found some once at McKinnon's in Davis Sq but haven't seen it since...

    23 Replies
    1. re: Spike

      You posted the hard part. Finding decent pork belly.

      1. re: CapeCodGuy

        If you are in the Somerville area, I buy some really nice Berkshire pork belly at the reliable market. They always murmur and shake their heads when I buy a full sheet, but are more than happy to sell me the goods.

        1. re: CapeCodGuy

          Whole foods has it, but tell them you want it skin on, or if your like me, they will helpfully remove it for you, lol. Second try got it right though, and it made an outstanding porchetta

          1. re: CapeCodGuy

            I noticed pork belly today at Mayflower.

            1. re: phatchris

              Got a nice fresh one at Market Basket but for future reference, where/what is Mayflower?

              1. re: CapeCodGuy

                inman sq, cambridge, towards boston on camb. st.

                1. re: Madrid

                  a.k.a. "Live Poultry Fresh Killed"

          2. re: Spike

            I never heard of porchetta being a belly. Traditionally it is a whole boned out pig, herbed, sometimes stuffed, and roasted:


            Have also attached some photos of a porchetta I had in Sulmona Italy two years ago...

            1. re: StriperGuy

              That's what I remember too, but see here:
              I have to say the all-belly sounds good. If you google porchetta pork belly quite a few hits come up.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                Yes SG, a traditional Italian porchetta is a whole roasted pig as you describe. For those who want a scaled down version that doesn't take all day to roast over an open spit, a roast consisting of a pork loin wrapped with a skin-on pork belly is a yummy alternative. This is what my nonna used to make for the holidays. You can also do it with a deboned shoulder but I prefer this method.

                Edit: just read the link on an all belly porchetta. Looks interesting but I think it would be too fatty without the loin also.

                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                  Yah I agree just belly sounds wrong, loin and belly I buy it.

                  1. re: StriperGuy

                    anyone have any recs for porchetta in boston area restaurants?

                    I've only had it at home, and one preparation I really liked was loin, not wrapped in pork belly but in pancetta, and roasted on a rack with some pork ribs placed under the rack, so that all the drippings basted the ribs. the ribs were especially delicious. I've also made it with shoulder...all that fat helps make up for the fact that it's not a whole hog.

                    But I would so love to try it in a restaurant in the Boston area so I don't have to do the work myself...

                      1. re: StriperGuy

                        Actually pancetta is cured, usually thin sliced and definitely without the pig skin attached, so it's really not the same thing at all. However, like bacon, it is made from a pork belly.

                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                          I thought pancetta was uncured, but in any case, CCG, that's exactly right about the thin sliced with no skin......putting some pieces of pancetta on top is very different from wrapping itin even a flattened out pork belly. The recipe did call for very thin sliced pancetta and it literally melts into the pork with not that much added fat.

                          1. re: Madrid

                            I'm pretty sure pancetta is cured, just like bacon. The difference is it's not smoked like bacon.

                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                              oops. you are so right, of course it is cured but it isn't smoked.

                              1. re: Madrid

                                i always remember it by Adam Arkin's character, " adam" on Northern Exposure screaming at Holling, who foolishly had said they were the same thing:

                                "PANCETTA.. IS.. CURED, BACON.. IS.. SMOKED!"

                2. re: StriperGuy

                  That looks good...

                  Here's what the pork belly porchetta I made earlier this year looked like...crispy skin...

                  1. re: Spike

                    Spike, all pork belly or is there a loin in the middle?

                    Mine's all assembled and in the fridge to dry out the skin. I'll roast it Sunday. Still trying to decide on the method, either low and slow at 250 degrees with a heat blast at the end, or start with a heat blast (on the grill to save the oven) and finish in a 300 degree oven. Can't seem to find a consensus on the finished temp either. Driving me nuts.

                    1. re: CapeCodGuy

                      I always go low and slow and I've read anything between 135 to 140 or higher, as I'm sure you have as well.

                      let us know how it turns out

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        That was all pork belly. Found some recipes that involved wrapping belly around a small tenderloin that I might try later, but I wanted crispy :-)
                        I did the heat at the end thing to make the skin bubble up.

                        I'll have to check out some of the other pork belly butchers in this supposedly freezes well if it's uncooked :-)

                3. contact David at in Framingham - they make the best ones - if you explain your need he may be able to help you.


                  1. If you're on the Cape and want some place closer, you my want to try calling Previte's in Weymouth. They make most anything to order. A couple of times a year they make me an Al Capone stuffed pork roast and man is that ever great. Fresh, Fresh, Fresh!

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: CocoDan

                      I ended up picking up a fresh piece of pork belly today at my local Market Basket in Bourne. They were very helpful in cutting it to order for me so I plan on giving it a whirl this weekend as a sort of 'dry- run'. If I screw it up, or it's just too much hassle to do for the holiday, I'll use one of the suggestions here and report back.

                      Thanks for all the replies! At the very least I've added a few specialty markets to my bookmarks folder!!

                      And Dan...what's an Al Capone Stuffed Roast consist of? I'm intrigued.

                      1. re: CapeCodGuy

                        It's a pork loin split then stuffed with prosciutto, seasoned breadcrumbs, parmesano. and parsley. Sometimes the will include cappocolla or salami. Oh boy is it good! They'll make it as big or small as you want. Ready to roast.
                        Now I'm hungry.

                        1. re: CocoDan

                          That would be easy to make yourself. I often stuff and roll pork loins. Easy peasy. Sounds yummy. I think i'll try it sometime. Thanks!

                          1. re: CocoDan

                            Perry's Market in N. Plymouth usually has stuffed Al Capon in the case, they do it more as a jelly roll cut into 1" thick pieces. I don't like it that way and I've had them make me one, un-cut. It was decent.
                            For you cape codders, pizza barbone in Hyannis has started doing a porcetta on friday nights recently as a special, lots of good photos on their FB page.


                            1. re: T.Clark

                              Mine looks just like theirs only smaller. Wish I had taken photos as i was assembling. Nice to see them branching out to more than pizza. I'm sure that brick oven of his can put a nice crisp on the skin, before he goes low and slow in a conventional oven. I'll have to try it sometime later this season.

                      2. I was asked to report back and I'll keep it brief as it probably is a better fit for the home cooking board, but my porchetta looked beautiful, the cracklin was wonderful, the loin moist and tender, and the belly, was just plain gross. I followed the Bon Appetite recipe to a T and the belly wrap was way too fatty to eat. Not sure if somehow I screwed up or it's just not possible to render a lot of fat out of the beast. Totally not worth the effort. Next time I'll do an Al Capone stuffed with sausage meat, procuitto, salami and parmesan, and wrap the outside with thin sliced pancetta. Too bad, it was a thing of beauty until you put it into your mouth.

                        8 Replies
                        1. re: CapeCodGuy

                          Wow, it looks GORGEOUS, so sorry it was not enjoyable to eat.

                          1. re: CapeCodGuy

                            So very beautiful! Could you cube it, using a few cubes when you want that porky-something as the base for soups and/or chili?

                            1. re: CapeCodGuy

                              Some hounds might actually eat the fat...;-)

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                LOL...I hear you there! But having 3/4-1" thick piece of pure fat under the skin was just not doable for THIS hound!

                                1. re: CapeCodGuy

                                  CCG, I too can make an Al Capone, but it's soooo much easier to go to
                                  Previte's and have them make me one. Pop in the oven and slice to-----

                                  1. re: CocoDan

                                    Sure thing! And thanks for the tip on Previte's. Love good local markets.

                              2. re: CapeCodGuy

                                I have read by one account that it can be difficult to to cook a porchetta long enough to break down the belly fat without also drying out the loin. The all-belly deal is an attempt to solve that problem. Also I wonder about the quality of a MB belly versus the belly you'd get from a non-conventionally raised pig.

                                Coincidentally, I was also considering making a porchetta next week and had contacted MF Dulock about a belly with the loin still attached. They offered to do this (with adequate lead time) and expected to have Large Black, Tamworth, and Yorkshire hogs this week. However, this was a few days ago so that might have changed.

                                1. re: chevrelove

                                  Although I concur that farm raised non-commercial pork is generally far preferable than commercial grade pork, I would expect the belly from farm raised to have an even higher fat content. No? The MB belly was pretty lean for a belly. I was impressed with the meat content it contained. But as mentioned, hardly any of the fat rendered out and that was the main issue.