This recipe is traditionally done using a whole suckling pig. For this application, we'll be using a large pork belly, and our stuffing will consist of a pork shoulder and an herb paste.
1 12-lb. pork belly, skin still on
1 4-lb. boneless pork shoulder
1 loosely packed cup of fresh sage leaves
1/2 cup rosemary leaves
1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves
4 cups fresh flat leaf parsley
2 cups fresh mint leaves
1 1/2 cups fresh oregano leaves
6 bay leaves
8 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
2 cups olive oil
2 cups dry white wine
A good amount of butcher's twine
the herb paste:
In a food processor, or in a blender, combine the herbs, garlic, and salt. Process to a coarse puree. With machine running, add the oil and wine and puree until smooth.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the pork shoulder into strips about 6 inches long and 11/2 inches wide. Place the pork belly on a clean work surface, skin side down. With a large spoon, coat the inside of the pork belly with the herb marinade. Toss the pork shoulder with the remaining herb marinade and season with salt and pepper. Place pork shoulder in the cavity of the pork belly. Roll the pork belly lengthwise tightly. Using butcher's twine, tie the porchetta every 3 inches until completely sealed. Brush the porchetta with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place porchetta on roasting rack and cook at 300 degrees for 6 hours, basting with its rendered fat every hour. Cook until skin is crispy and pork is tender. Slice to serve removing any butcher's twine along the way.
This dish is great with grilled bread, mustards, and pickles. It can also be served with polenta, potatoes, or other vegetables. Eat well!