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Ready-to-cook Porchetta?

CapeCodGuy Nov 7, 2012 03:13 PM

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.....) :-)

  1. s
    Spike Nov 7, 2012 04:29 PM

    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
      CapeCodGuy Nov 7, 2012 04:59 PM

      You posted the hard part. Finding decent pork belly.

      1. re: CapeCodGuy
        smtucker Nov 7, 2012 05:06 PM

        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
          devilham Nov 7, 2012 06:41 PM

          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
            phatchris Nov 9, 2012 08:05 AM

            I noticed pork belly today at Mayflower.

            1. re: phatchris
              CapeCodGuy Nov 9, 2012 03:32 PM

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

              1. re: CapeCodGuy
                Madrid Nov 9, 2012 05:26 PM

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

                1. re: Madrid
                  jajjguy Nov 10, 2012 06:47 PM

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

                  1. re: jajjguy
                    Beachowolfe Nov 13, 2012 06:34 PM

                    love that sign

          2. re: Spike
            StriperGuy Nov 8, 2012 01:20 PM

            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
              Aromatherapy Nov 8, 2012 01:53 PM

              That's what I remember too, but see here: http://www.seriouseats.com/2011/12/th...
              I have to say the all-belly sounds good. If you google porchetta pork belly quite a few hits come up.

              1. re: StriperGuy
                CapeCodGuy Nov 8, 2012 02:40 PM

                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
                  StriperGuy Nov 9, 2012 07:25 AM

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

                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    Madrid Nov 10, 2012 01:24 PM

                    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: Madrid
                      StriperGuy Nov 10, 2012 09:21 PM

                      Pancetta IS pork belly.

                      1. re: StriperGuy
                        CapeCodGuy Nov 11, 2012 04:12 AM

                        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
                          Madrid Nov 11, 2012 08:12 AM

                          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
                            CapeCodGuy Nov 11, 2012 09:14 AM

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

                            1. re: CapeCodGuy
                              Madrid Nov 11, 2012 09:33 AM

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

                              1. re: Madrid
                                hyde Nov 13, 2012 03:11 AM

                                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
                  Spike Nov 9, 2012 04:05 PM

                  That looks good...

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

                  1. re: Spike
                    CapeCodGuy Nov 9, 2012 05:01 PM

                    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
                      Madrid Nov 10, 2012 01:33 PM

                      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
                        Spike Nov 10, 2012 03:18 PM

                        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 thread...it supposedly freezes well if it's uncooked :-)

                3. MABMAQ Nov 8, 2012 10:12 AM

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


                  1. CocoDan Nov 8, 2012 12:14 PM

                    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
                      CapeCodGuy Nov 8, 2012 01:01 PM

                      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
                        CocoDan Nov 8, 2012 01:41 PM

                        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
                          CapeCodGuy Nov 8, 2012 02:33 PM

                          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
                            T.Clark Nov 10, 2012 01:03 PM

                            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
                              CapeCodGuy Nov 10, 2012 02:31 PM

                              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. CapeCodGuy Nov 12, 2012 12:14 PM

                        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
                          GretchenS Nov 12, 2012 12:16 PM

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

                          1. re: CapeCodGuy
                            smtucker Nov 12, 2012 04:23 PM

                            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
                              StriperGuy Nov 13, 2012 10:45 AM

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

                              1. re: StriperGuy
                                CapeCodGuy Nov 13, 2012 11:00 AM

                                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
                                  CocoDan Nov 13, 2012 12:40 PM

                                  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
                                    CapeCodGuy Nov 13, 2012 12:42 PM

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

                              2. re: CapeCodGuy
                                chevrelove Nov 14, 2012 11:03 AM

                                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
                                  CapeCodGuy Nov 14, 2012 07:03 PM

                                  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.

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