Porechetta with Red Wine Risotto

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Porchetta is a delicious piece of pork, stuffed, rolled and tied then roasted and eaten all over Italy. As with all Italian dishes, what you stuff it with depends on which region of Italy you come from, there really is hundreds of variations on this dish and this is mine.

The first part of this recipe is for the porchetta which you can cook just as it is and eat itin sandwiches or as I do, with red wine risotto,

1 rectangular piece of boneless pork belly, skin and fat removed about 300g in weight

5 or 6 slices of prosciutto or Parma ham

3 or 4 sundried tomatoes
1 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted
1 tsp dried chilli flakes, toasted
30g sea salt flakes
2 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary or thyme leaves
1 tbsp olive oil
200ml white wine

(1). Place your pork belly on a clean, flat surface, score the flesh, then rub the fennel seeds and seasoning into the meat with your hands. Sit the sundried tomatoes along the centre of the belly, and then roll up tightly.

(2). Lay your ham onto a clean surface so you can place your rolled pork on top and wrap it in the ham.

(3).Tie up tightly with butcher’s string at about 5cm intervals, and leave to sit, uncovered in the fridge, for at least 1 hour. Bring back to room temperature before cooking.

(4). Heat the oven to 160C/ Gm 5. Pat the meat as dry as possible with kitchen paper and put on a rack in a roasting tray. Roast for about 4 hours, then turn the oven up as high as it will go and roast for another 10 minutes, or until the ham is golden brown (keep an eye on it).

Tip – Don’t get rid of the juices from the roasting tray, add it to your risotto.

(5). Remove from the oven and allow to rest, uncovered for 20 minutes. (enough time to make your risotto.

(6).Carve the pork into slices. and eat as you please.

For the red wine risotto –

Ingredients

1 four-bone lamb rack, or four individual bone-in lamb cutlets

For the red wine risotto –

150ml beef stock and the juices from your porchetta if you can
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 onion, fine diced
1 carrot, fine diced
1 celery stick, fine diced
150g risotto rice
300ml Italian red wine, such as Barolo, Chianti, Nebbiolo
75g grated Parmesan

(1). Pre-heat oven to 200C/Gm 7. Season your lamb.

(2). Place a heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Add a dash of oil then place your lamb rack or cutlets into the pan and render-down the fat and brown on all sides to seal. Place your lamb on a baking tray and place in oven to cook through as you require.

(3). Heat the beef stock to a simmer, then add half the red wine.
(3). Add a dash of oil to the pan your lamb browned in, add the onion, celery and carrot and fry till soft but not coloured. Add the rice and stir to coat.
(4). Turn up the heat and add half the remaining wine, let it reduce to a syrup.  Once the wine has almost gone add a ladle of the wine/stock, allow to almost absorb completely then keep adding a ladle of stock till rice is cooked.
(5). Remove your lamb from the oven, place on a warm plate to rest, pour any cooking juices from the tray in the risotto and stir in well.
(7), Add half the Parmesan and mix in well and add a good glug of the wine that’s left, take pan off the heat, put lid on and rest for a couple of minute.
(8). Carve the lamb rack into cutlets.
(9). Serve the risotto into the centre of bowls or plates and sit your cutlets on top, along with a  sprig of rosemary.
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