(Serves 4 to 6)
1 (4 to 5 pound) skin-on boneless fresh ham, butterflied
4 ounces pancetta
5-6 cloves garlic
Grated zest of 1 large orange
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
Leaves from 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
Salt and pepper
Put the ham, skin side down, on a piece of plastic wrap. Put another piece of plastic wrap on top. Pound to an even thickness of about 1-inch.
Score the meat with a knife in a cross-hatch pattern. Season the meat with salt and pepper. Turn the meat over and score the skin with a knife as you did with the flesh side. Set the meat aside.
Put the pancetta and garlic in a food processor and pulse until it forms a paste.
Transfer the mixture to a bowl. Add the orange zest, parsley, red pepper flakes, and rosemary. Stir to combine well.
Spread the pancetta mixture over the surface of the meat. Roll the ham up, skin side out. Tie the roll at 1-inch intervals with kitchen twine. Season the skin with salt.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F..
Place the ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 1 hour.
Increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees F; roast for about another hour.
The internal temperature should be 170 degrees F. and the skin should be crispy. Remove from the oven and let rest for 30 minutes. Thinly slice the porchetta to serve.
If you wish to make roasted potatoes with the porchetta:
Cut small 1 to1-1/2-inch potatoes in half.
Coat the potatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place the potatoes in the oven with the ham about 30-40 minutes before the meat will be done. Turn once during baking time.
Porchetta is an Italian roast pork that is moist, juicy, and flavorful. It is one of the more spectacular of the Italian pork specialties. Porchetta originated in Umbria, but is now morely closely associated with Lazio and especially Rome. Traditionally, a whole pig is deboned and stuffed with meat, garlic, and herbs. The pig is then roasted on a spit over a wood fire or baked in a wood-fired oven until the skin is red-brown and wonderfully crispy. Porchetta is often the centerpiece of local festivities. Slices of porchetta are also sold at little roadside stands.
This version of porchetta combines all of the flavors of the traditional roast, including the golden crunchy skin, but the recipe has been recreated for the home cook.
CLASSIC ITALIAN COOKBOOK
Considered by many to be the most authentic guide to Italian food ever written in the US