Festive Porchetta


Traditionally, a porchetta makes its appearance on Italian tables around the festive season and is essentially a meaty roll of all kinds of pork. The pork loin is usually attached to the deboned belly, both of which are butterflied and laced with a luxurious filling of chicken livers and herbs. I’ve always thought of a porchetta as one of those noble dishes that could easily take centre stage on an opulent table – kind of like one of those indulgent, Medieval feasts, but without the wild boar with an apple stuffed into its mouth.


TIME: 3 hours | SERVES: 6


for the filling

100 g (110 ml) butter

2 onions, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

10 ml fennel seeds

250 g chicken livers, roughly chopped

salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 slices honey and oats bread

5 Cape sage leaves, chopped


to complete the porchetta

1 x 2 kg deboned Eskort pork belly

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 x 350 g Eskort pork fillet

125 g Eskort Double Smoked Ham

olive oil

1 lemon, halved

coarse salt


for the filling

Melt the butter in a saucepan. It may seem like a lot of butter, but once you add the breadcrumbs it will make sense. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft and translucent.

Add the fennel seeds and fry for 3 minutes. Then, add the chopped livers and fry for 2 minutes and season with salt and pepper.

Place the bread in a food processor and pulse until breadcrumbs form, then add the breadcrumbs and sage to the butter and onion mixture. The breadcrumbs will now absorb all the butter.

Take mixture off the heat and let it cool to room temperature.

to complete the porchetta

Heat the oven to 180 °C.

Make sure your pork belly is scored vertically (you can ask your Eskort butcher do that for you).

Lay your pork belly out, skin-side down, and butterfly the meat from the centre outwards on one side to separate meat from the skin without cutting all the way through, then open up to one, large piece.

Season the meat and spread evenly with ¾ of the stuffing. Fold closed and spread the rest of the stuffing on top. Season the fillet with salt and pepper. Place the fillet on the one side of the belly.

Arrange the ham on top and roll the porchetta closed before tying the porchetta with butcher’s twine.

Drizzle a little olive oil into an oven-roasting dish. Rub the skin with the lemon and sprinkle salt on top.

Place in the oven for 2 hours when the skin will form a lovely crackling.

If the skin is not crispy, increase the oven’s heat to 200 °C, and roast it further until the skin is crispy and crackly.

Take out of the oven and let it rest for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.

ESKORT butcheries are available in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Kwazulu-Natal. For more information, visit ESKORT online.
Eskort Butcheries opening in Western Cape 2021
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