A great porchetta should be meltingly tender, with an almost startlingly crispy skin. It takes time to achieve these results—start the day before by salting a skin-on pork belly and leaving it overnight in the fridge. Next day, scatter the flesh with sliced garlic, rosemary, fennel seed, and lemon zest, then roll and tie it, cut it in half (so it fits a standard oven), and let it roast a long, long time. Rubbing the skin with baking soda before scoring helps ensure perfectly crisp results. Serve with roasted potatoes or soft polenta, either regular or red flint. If you’ve got leftovers, make Porchetta and Fried Egg Sandwiches.
What to buy: Ask your butcher for a whole pork belly with the skin on. These typically weigh 10 to 12 pounds. You can order half a belly; follow the same steps, using half the ingredients.
Special equipment: You’ll need a new, clean razor blade to score the skin, and sturdy cotton butcher’s twine to tie the roast.
Game plan: The salted pork belly needs to cure overnight, then roast for about 4 hours, so give yourself plenty of time.