A classic Italian recipe, porchetta traditionally involves several layers (including the pork belly), but this less complicated version is better for chefs who want to enjoy the juiciness of tenderloin cooked low and slow, but don’t have all afternoon to spend in the kitchen. Don’t be afraid of butterflying the loin; it sounds more complicated than it is. And after all, if you get it wrong, you can always throw your pork in the slow cooker instead, or fire up the grill for some pork and apple skewers. Nobody ever needs to know that wasn’t your original plan!
Even though it’s not tricky to cook, porchetta does require some planning ahead, because the pork needs to marinate 6-8 hours in advance. The magic of this dish lies in letting the flavors of the spice mix sink deep into the meat. If you cut back on the marinade time, you’ll also be taking away from the flavor of the finished product. Instead of rushing through the recipe, save it for a weekend when you can prep the loin in the morning, leave it in the fridge until 4 or 5, and then still have time to let it cook for 2 hours before dinner.
This dish goes well with any type of veggies – I chose to serve it with Brussels sprouts, but any kind of simple Paleo side dish would work just as well: what about asparagus? Or broccoli? Porchetta goes with just about anything, so don’t be afraid to experiment with whatever you have ready.
- 1-2 lb. pork tenderloin;
- 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped;
- 2 tbsp. fresh rosemary;
- Coconut oil;
- Cooking twine;
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary, toasted;
- 2 tsp. dried fennel seeds, toasted and crushed;
- 2 tsp. chili flakes;
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper;
- 2 garlic cloves, minced;
- Zest of 1 lemon;
- 2 tbsp. sea salt; (optional)
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the rub.
- Butterfly the pork tenderloin (see instructions here, if you don’t know how). You can use a rolling pin on the meat to make it thinner and easier to roll up afterwards.
- Sprinkle the inside of the pork with the rub, and rub it all over. Don’t use it all, though; you’ll need some of the rub later.
- Mix the parsley and the rosemary together and sprinkle them on top of the loin as well.
- Tightly roll the pork tenderloin and tie it with cooking twine.
- Rub the outside of the loin with the coconut oil and the rest of the rub.
- Place the meat in a covered dish and refrigerate for at least 6 hours.
- Heat the oven to 250° F. and place the porchetta on a rack in a roasting pan. Cook in the center of the oven for 1 1/2h. Then turn the oven up to 400° for 15 to 20 minutes to crisp the top of the tenderloin.
- Remove from oven and serve with fresh vegetables of your choice.