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Porchetta Natalizia - Christmas porchetta (stuffed and rolled pork)

I love making porchetta and usually make a large one when lots of people come by. It can be made in advance and sliced when required; in fact it is delicious eaten cold. The traditional porchetta, popular street food in the region of Rome, is seasoned with lots of herbs and cooked on a spit, sliced thickly and served as a substantial sandwich. To enrich the porchetta further, I have added a filling of minced pork and chicken livers and I like to serve this for special occasions like Christmastime when family comes to visit. It also makes for an alternative Christmas lunch served with some roast potatoes. It is simple to prepare, slow-roasted in the oven, first at a high temperature and then much lower to cook the pork thoroughly through.

Make it yourself 

4 x servings

Ingredients

  • 3 kg jacket of pork (loin and belly boned)
  • Sakt & pepper
  • 70ml Vin Santo
  • Zest of 2 x lemons
  • 2 x tbsp extra-virgin olive oil & extra for rubbing
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped
  • 175g pork mince
  • 175g chicken liver, finely chopped
  • 10 x sage leaves
  • 2 x rosemary sprigs
  • 2 x thyme sprigs
  • 350g bread, soaked in lukewarm water
  • 15g pine kernels
  • 30g sultanas
  • 6 slices mortadella
  • 4 x large carrots, sliced lengthways in half

Method

  1. Unroll the jacket of pork and lay it flat on a board, sprinkle with salt and pepper and rub well in. Drizzle the Vin Santo, sprinkle the lemon zest and massage well in. Roll, wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 220 degrees centigrade.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a pan, add onion and sweat for a couple of minutes. Add the pork mince and brown all over. Then add the chicken liver and brown all over too. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Squeeze the excess water from the bread and chop finely. Add the bread to the cooled meat, together with the herbs, pine kernels and sultanas. Mix together well.
  4. Take the jacket of pork, discard the cling film and roll out on a board, line with three slices of mortadella, add the filling and top with the remaining mortadella slices. Carefully roll up the meat and secure well with kitchen string, massage all over with the oil and salt and pepper before placing in a lightly greased roasting dish over the carrots. Place in the oven for 30 minutes. Cover with aluminium foil, lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees centigrade and continue to roast for three hours. Remove the foil, turn off the oven and leave to rest in the hot oven until it cools down.
  5. Place on a board and carve into slices. You can either serve immediately or serve cold later. The porchetta will keep for up to a week in the fridge wrapped in foil.

Sample more street food on our Tasting Tour of Rome