With crunchy crackling and melt-in-the-mouth
meat, porchetta is irresistible. Even more so when sandwiched in a
ciabatta roll along with crunchy fennel and mustard fruit to cut
through the richness.
1 kgboneless pork belly, skin scored at 1cm intervals with a very sharp knife1 tbspextra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling and tossing2garlic cloves, finely chopped2 tsproasted fennel seeds, crushed with a mortar and pestle2 tspfinely chopped rosemaryFinely grated rind and juice of ½ lemon4ciabatta rolls, halvedMayonnaise and chopped mustard fruit (see note), to serve1baby fennel bulb, thinly shaved on a mandoline, fronds reservedWild rocket, to serve
Preheat oven to 220°C. Place pork skin-side up on a wire rack in the sink, carefully pour boiling kettle over skin to help the score marks open, then stand for 10 minutes to dry out. Pat dry with paper towels.
Stir oil, garlic, crushed fennel seeds, rosemary and lemon rind in a bowl, season to taste, then rub mixture over pork flesh. Place skin-side up in a small roasting pan lined with baking paper, scatter skin generously with sea salt flakes and roast until skin starts to crackle and brown (30-35 minutes). Reduce oven to 180°C and roast until tender when pierced with a sharp knife (25-30 minutes). Leave to rest for 20 minutes, then thinly slice meat and crackling.
Drizzle the cut sides of ciabatta rolls with olive oil, then spread with mayonnaise. Top bases with porchetta, crackling and mustard fruit, and season to taste. Toss fennel in a bowl with lemon juice and olive oil to taste, season to taste and pile on top of filling, scatter with rocket, sandwich with ciabatta tops and serve.