Charlotte Holland shares her delicious Roast Christmas Porchetta recipe with us, her blog Food by Charlotte is full of enticing and inspiring recipes.I first tried a dish similar to this a few years ago when some family friends came to stay for Christmas. The centrepiece of our glorious Christmas lunch was not the traditional turkey but a beautifully stuffed joint of pork that had been slowly roasted for hours. To this day I still think about how good the pork tasted, so taking inspiration from the original recipe I came up with my own version. Using high welfare, slowly raised and well-sourced cuts of pork, really makes the difference. It is succulent, juicy and oh so flavorsome. I used pork belly, which lends itself well to the rich and herby stuffing and also gives an epic crackling. I love nothing more than hosting supper parties and thought this roast pork would make an excellent focal point for a Christmas themed one. As it is Christmas, I had to serve along side my favourite vegetable, the mighty brussel sprout.
Roast Christmas Porchetta with Fondant New Potatoes, Roast Carrots and Brussel Sprouts
For 8-10 people (makes cracking leftovers if fewer)
For the Porchetta and Stuffing:
2kg high welfare pork belly (I used two 1kg pieces)
70g soft prunes
1 bramley apple, peeled and diced quite small
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
one red onion finely chopped
thumb nail size of fresh ginger, grated
1 clove of garlic
bunch each of parsley, thyme, sage and rosemary
1 tsp fennel seeds
25g melted butter
100ml cloudy apple juice
For the Potatoes:
1kg bag of Charlotte potatoes
500ml vegetable stock
2-3 garlic cloves
For the Veg:
350-400g baby carrots
For the Sprouts:
bag of brussels
On the day before you plan to cook your pork, make the stuffing. Simply put the diced prunes, apple, breadcrumbs, onion, ginger, garlic, and fennel seeds in a bowl and combine with a good pinch of salt and pepper.
In a food processor add the herbs (pick the leaves off the thyme and rosemary) and blitz until fine. Add to the bowl with the other ingredients, the eggs and melted butter, and really combine until mixed well.
Open up your pork belly so it is flat and add a thin layer of the stuffing all over the flesh side and roll up tightly. I asked my butcher for elastic bands suitable for the oven, but you could also use cooking string. Be sure that the string is knotted properly; you don’t want it bursting open mid cooking.
Place the pork in the roasting tin skin side up and leave in the fridge over night. Leave uncovered to ensure the pork skin really dries out – essential to get good crackling.
Pre heat the oven to 130°C.
Smother the pork skin with olive oil and sea salt.
Pour the apple juice into the roasting tin and put the pork in the oven for at least 3 hours.
For the last 20 minutes of cooking, put the heat up to 200°C and let the crackling do it's thing.
Remove and leave to rest for approx. 30 mins.
Whilst the pork is cooking, add the potatoes, garlic and stock to a roasting tin and put in the oven until most of the liquid has been absorbed. The potatoes should brown nicely on top.
Whilst the pork is resting, add the carrots and parsnips to a roasting tin and toss with the maple syrup, salt and pepper. Roast for about 40 minutes until tender but starting to caramelise.
Once they are ready remove from oven and sprinkle with the feta and oregano.
Prep the brussels by halving and adding to a large frying pan. Sauté with some butter and water until they start to soften. Add the diced pancetta and let it crisp up. Add a squeeze of lemon juice and season well.
To make the gravy, use the juices from the roasting tin and add a splash of white wine (or apple juice), water and a chicken stock pot. Let it simmer until it starts to reduce down.
By now the pork will have rested nicely and be ready to carve.
Words and photos by Charlotte Holland