With its herby filling and crispy crackling, this porchetta recipe is a festive family favourite. It's not too hard to make but it looks so impressive on a Christmas table. As there are always leftovers, it makes the perfect sandwich filling to enjoy on Boxing Day as you watch the cricket. Cut the meat into thin slices, pop it into fresh panini with some salsa verde – delicious!
100g crustless sourdough, cut into small pieces
1 small clove garlic, roughly chopped
pinch ground cloves
¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
½ tsp ground star anise
2 tbsp chopped sage
4 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
4 tbsp grated grana padano
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to drizzle
2kg boned pork belly, preferably with loin attached
salt and cracked black pepper
1. Place the bread, garlic, spices, herbs, cheese and olive oil in a food processor and process until well combined and the mixture clings together when pinched. Season with salt and pepper, then keep in the fridge until needed.
2. Place the pork belly, skin-side down, on a chopping board. From one end peel the meat from the skin to about half way. Season the meat with salt and pepper and spread evenly with the bread mixture. Roll up the pork into a log, then fold over the skin to cover (we do this so the skin is not rolled into the centre of the porchetta).
3. Tie kitchen string around the pork at regular intervals to secure it firmly so the meat holds its shape during cooking. Season the pork skin with salt and leave uncovered in the fridge for 24 hours to dry out the skin.
4. Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan-forced).
5. Place the pork on a wire rack in a roasting tin, seam-side down, and drizzle with a little extra olive oil. Roast 2 to 2½ hours or until the skin has a good crackle and the meat is soft and tender.
6. Remove from the oven and rest for 15 minutes before carving.