I have been wanting to eat porchetta ever since I first heard that Sara Jenkins (daughter of the famous cookbook author, Nancy Harmon Jenkins) opened a place in the East Village by the same name. In Central Italy a whole pig is roasted and then sold from a cart, (street food – this has to be the epitome of “slow cooked fast food”). A pork loin covered with garlic, fennel and rosemary wrapped in a pork belly and slow roasted for hours is how they do it.
“Amazing”, I thought. “The loin is continually basted as the belly melts around it. We HAVE to do this.”
Well, with the end of the year drawing quickly to a close we still hadn’t done it. Summer catering ran into Thanksgiving ran into Hanukkah ran into ….. you get the picture. Well, I’m sure the kitchen staff thought I was nuts but sure enough, right in the middle of Christmas and New Years preparations came a whole pork belly from Hudson Valley Meat Co. We opened it up, scored the skin in a diamond pattern, seasoned it with plenty of chopped garlic, salt and savory herbs. After sitting for several days we wrapped it around one of our Berkshire pork loins tied it up and set it to slow roast for almost seven hours.
Crispy skin, fatty belly, and lean loin all heaped on a semolina baguette make a killer sandwich. We’ll also be serving it as a plate with garlicky greens and cannellini beans. Stop in today and have some, the parking is easier and the price much cheaper than on E. 7th Street!