orchetta is a staple food of Italian cuisine. It’s prepared differently from region to region. This is our Portuguese take on this delicious dish.
Place the pork belly on a clean work surface, skin side up and dry the skin with a paper towel.
Run a sharp knife in diagonal lines across the pork belly about 1 inch apart. Careful to keep the cuts just at the surface of the skin and not cut too deep.
Repeat the previous step across the first cuts to create diamond-like shapes in the skin. Our cuts (in the picture) were a little deeper than they should have been.
Flip over the pork belly and make a few shallow cuts into the meat.
Sprinkle 2 1/2 tbsp of flaked salt and all the black pepper evenly over the meat side of the pork belly.
In a small bowl, mix together 3 tbsp of olive oil, rosemary, sage, fennel seeds, crushed red pepper, garlic and lime zest.
Spread the mixture over the pork belly evenly and press down with your hands to make sure the entire pork belly (meat side only) is well coated.
Place the pork loin across the middle short end of the pork belly (on the meat side).
Cut the chouriço in half length wise and place the two pieces on the pork belly, on both sides of the pork loin.
Wrap the pork belly around the pork loin as tight as you can to form a roll.
Use butcher's twine to tie up the porchetta, the string should be about 1 1/2 inches apart. The step is best done with someone's assistance if possible.
Rub the last tbsp of olive oil over the pork belly skin.
Rub in the last tbsp of flaked salt over the pork belly skin.
Place the porchetta on the rotisserie spit as per the manufacturer's instructions.
Place a drip pan (just a little wider than the porchetta) on the heat covers of your grill just under the grates/grids and add a couple of cups of water. This creates indirect heat for cooking the porchetta.
Heat the barbecue to 325 ºF. To accomplish this on our grill (Broil King Baron S590), we left the centre burner off and turned on the other 4 burners on their lowest setting. Every barbecue will perform slightly different, so make sure to read your manufacturer's instructions.
Once the barbecue reaches 325 ºF, place the spit on the rotisserie unit, set it to rotate and close the lid.
Cook for about 2 hours and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 120 ºF.
Turn the back burner on between medium and medium high and continue to cook the meat with the lid closed. The barbecue should reach about 400 ºF. Adjust the temperature if needed by reducing the back burner power.
After about 30 minutes, the skin will look golden brown and bubbly. The bubbles on the skin are the sign that the skin is now crackly.
Check the internal temperature. The temperature should be between 145 ºF and 150 ºF. Our porchatta took another 10 minutes cooking with the back burner on to reach this temperature (total of 40 minutes at the higher temperature).
Remove the porchetta from the barbecue and spit, place it on a tray and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for about 15 minutes before cutting into the meat. Enjoy!