Turning porchetta into the perfect sandwich (the hard way…)

By Alex Chung
Writer for Pro Home Cooks

Welcome back to another episode of “The Sandwich Series” were I’m going to make the classic and coveted porchetta sandwich. This Italian sandwich uses so few ingredients and is so simple by nature that sourcing good ingredients is so important. You guys know that I loved my Brooklyn connections but since I moved over to Long Island, I need to make some new connections so I can find some delicious ingredients to cook with.



  • 3 pound pork belly, skin on

  • 1 pound of pork loin, cut into 1 inch steaks (you should get 4 -5 “steaks” total)

  • 2 tablespoons of thyme, stem removed

  • 2 tablespoons of rosemary, stem removed

  • Large fistful of fresh parsley (about 1/2 cup)

  • 3-4 stalks of green onion, green parts only

  • zest of 1 lemon

  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Start off slicing off the skin of the pork belly, keeping it as one whole piece. Set it aside for later. Next, butterfly the pork belly to get more surface area. Check out the video at 7:45 to see how I did that. Trim off some of the fat from the inside and set aside for later.

  2. Prepare your herb mix by roughly chopping some thyme, rosemary, parsley, and scallion. Zest in some lemon and sprinkle this all over one side of your butterflied pork belly. Sprinkle on a good amount of salt all over the belly as well.

  3. Do the same for your pork loin steaks. Heavily season each steak with the herb mix, salt, and pepper. Place the loins onto of the belly in a single layer and tightly roll up, your pork belly masterpiece.

  4. Wrap the pork skin around your pork belly log and give the skin some scores with a sharp knife. This will help you get a crispy skin. Now to help dry the skin out, sprinkle some salt over it.

  5. Using some butchers twine, tightly wrap the pork so everything stays together and place in the fridge overnight.

  6. The next day, take out your pork and roast at 300F for 2 -3 hours. Place a sheet pan with cut up potatoes below the pork to catch the drippings. Once the 2 -3 hours is up, check the internal temperature of the pork with a meat thermometer. It should be anywhere above 160F.

  7. Next, turn on the boiler or rotisserie setting to get really puff up the skin. Once the skin is crispy, take it out of the oven/grill and let it cool down a bit before slicing into it.

  8. Roughly chop the pork and its skin and you are ready to assemble the sandwich!

Pork lard


  • Reserved pork fat from the pork belly


  1. Place all the pork fat into a medium pot on medium heat. Let the pork fat slowly render out. This will take about 15-20 minutes. Once all your lard has rendered out, carefully pour it into air tight jar and save it for another dish.

  2. What should be left in the pot are pork cracklings that you can snack on!

Herby Garlic Chimichurri


  • Extra herb mix from the pork rub

  • Lemon that we zested earlier

  • 2 -3 cloves of garlic, grated

  • 1/2 cup of olive oil

  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a bowl, add in the herb mix, juice of one lemon, grated garlic, and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Give it a mix and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Set aside for later

Sourdough Ciabatta


  • 1 cup of active sourgdough starter

  • 4 cups of bread flour

  • 1 cup of whole wheat flour

  • 2.5 cups of water

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons of fine sea salt


  1. Get your starter active by giving it a full feeding before you start this bread.

  2. One hour before your starter is fully active, place your bread flour, whole wheat flour, and water in a large mixing bowl. Let this autolyse for about 1 hour.

  3. Next, add in your active starter, olive oil, and salt. Give it a couple folds to incorporated all the ingredients. Once it comes together, take it out of the bowl and give it a couple of slap and fold on your counter with no flour. Let it rest for about 30 minutes.

  4. Once the 30 minutes is up, give it a couple of slap and folds. Repeat this step for 3 more times for a total of 4 slap and folds.

  5. This dough will ferment overnight so place it in a oiled glass dish so you can see its development the next day.

  6. Early next morning, take it out of the dish and onto a lightly floured surface. Cut into 6 rectangles and shape into ciabatta rolls. Check out the video at 12:30 to see how I did this. Proof for 1 -2 hours in a warm spot.

  7. Preheat your oven to 500F and then bake your proofed ciabatta rolls for 15 minutes with the lid on. After the first 15 minutes are done, lower the temp to 450 F and bake for 15 more minutes with the lid off. Let cool off before slicing into it.

By Alex Chung
Senior Food Writer at Pro Home Cooks
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