Porchetta Perfection

Posted on Tue September 22, 2020.

Inspired by our travels in Tuscany, Italy, Porchetta is one of our favorite dishes to make when we're preparing a meal for a bigger group of people. We love doing a Porchetta for a celebration with friends and family. All the prepping gets done the day before you cook it, so there's not too much work to do on the day.


Ideally you will cook this slowly on a rotisserie spit on a wood fire, but this can also be done in an oven or in a Weber braai. We make use of a Weber.


5kg pork loin & belly (A good butcher will know how to prepare a Porchetta. Meat should be deboned, but loin and belly should still be attached and skin on) - Ask your butcher to score the skin with a butcher knife, you can also do this yourself.
Seasonal fresh herbs (Sage, rosemary, Thyme, Parsley all roughly chopped)
Garlic to taste (I use a lot)
Fennel seed
Lemon Zest
Juice of 2 Lemons 
Salt & Pepper
Olive oil
Red Chilli deseeded (optional)
2 Bottles of good wine. This is for the chef. One to enjoy the night before while you prep the pork and one while you cook the Porchetta ;)


Finely chop herbs, garlic, chilli and zest of a lemon.

Place meat on a large surface, with the skin facing down.

Cover inside entirely with freshly chopped seasonal herbs, garlic, chilli & lemon zest.

Grind some fresh black pepper and a bit of salt. Not too much salt, as we'll be adding quite a lot of salt to the skin's outside to get it nice and crispy. 

Cover inside generously with olive oil and juice of 2 lemons and roll up with the herbs inside. Tie together with pieces of kitchen twine, keeping the stuffing firmly inside. 

Make sure not to get any oil or moisture on the skin. Ideally you want the skin to be as dry as possible (if not dry, pat dry skin with a kitchen towel). Rub the skin with coarse salt. We'll keep the rolled up meat uncovered in the fridge overnight so the skin can further dry out. This helps to get the crackling super crispy when we cook it. 

On the day of cooking, remove from fridge about two hours before, to come to room temperature and pat down again with a kitchen towel to make sure there is no moisture on the skin. Rub skin again with coarse salt.

Cooking time depends on the heat of your Weber or coals. (With an oven it is more straightforward.)   

The cooking time also depends on the thickness of your Porchetta. Check in after about 1.5 hours when cooking in an oven or Weber. If you have a cooking thermostat, pork should be 65-70 degrees Celsius for medium pork (this would also be my recommended temperature and pork would still be nice and juicy) Anything above 70 degrees would give you well done pork.

For oven cooking: High temperature, 200 degrees Celsius for first 30 minutes, then bring temperature down for 1.5-2.5 hours on a lower 150 degrees Celsius.

For Weber: I put coals on the sides of Weber only, no coals underneath the pork. ( A drip tray underneath with some lovely roast potatoes and baby onions works well to catch the lovely herb pork juices). A 5 Kg Porchetta takes about 1.5-2 hours to cook to perfection.

Cape Food & Wine offers "Meet the People" experiences and our "South African Braai" is a great way to gain unique insight into the South African heritage, people and food-culture. 

Pro tip - Rest your meat for at least 15 minutes before carving. 

Serve with - Enjoy your Porchetta with roasted seasonal veg, roast potatoes/potato bake and a salad (we prefer crispy Asian coleslaw). Compliment your meal with a lovely lightly wooded Chardonnay or Chenin Blanc with friends and family around a big table with a roaring fire in the background.

Sustainably sourced - We source our free range pork from Ryan Boon meats in Stellenbosch.