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Only quantities of ingredients are changed; recipe Directions below will not reflect those changes.


  • 8 pounds - Center-Cut Pork Loin, with belly flap attached and skin on
  • 6 cloves - Garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons - Fresh Rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons - Fresh Sage, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons - Fresh Thyme, chopped
  • 1 tablespoons - Fennel Seeds, toasted and ground to a coarse powder
  • 1 tablespoons - Lemon Zest, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoons - Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons - Kosher Salt, plus more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons - Ground Black Pepper, plus more to taste
  • Directions:

    1. Start by evaluating pork and trimming as necessary. Ideally you want a layer of fat just under ½ inch thick. If you've bought a separate pork loin and pork belly (as described above), drape belly (skin-side up) around pork loin to get a sense of how it will fit. It doesn't have to be perfect, but if it extends more than ½ inch over ends of loin, trim it down. If there's a gap on the underside because belly doesn't reach all the way around, that's fine.

    2. Arrange belly, whether separate or attached, so it sits skin-side up on a stable work surface. Using a box cutter, utility knife or other razor-sharp blade, carefully (but firmly) score rind in criss-crossing parallel lines about ½ inch apart, cutting through rind and just into fat (about ¼ inch deep) without cutting through to meat.

    3. In a small bowl combine garlic, rosemary, sage, thyme, fennel, lemon zest, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. Flip belly part of roast so it's skin-side down, and rub seasoning over entire surface of loin and on inside of belly.

    4. Assemble roast by wrapping belly (skin-side out) around loin. Secure roast with kitchen string, tying loops at 1- to 2-inch intervals.

    5. Season surface of roast lightly but evenly with salt and pepper, rubbing some into score marks.

    6. Set roast on a tray and refrigerate, uncovered, 48 hours. Let pork sit at room temperature 1-2 hours before roasting.

    7. Position a rack in lower third of oven and heat to 500 degrees. Place pork seam-side down on a roasting rack set in a roasting pan just large enough to accommodate it. Roast 25 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue to roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast registers 140-145 degrees, another 2-3 hours.

    8. Transfer roast to a carving board, preferably one with a trough. Let rest at least 25 minutes. (The roast can easily sit at room temperature for an hour or more.)

    9. Carve into ¼- to ½-inch-thick slices, removing strings as you go and doing your best to give each serving a bit of crackling rind. If rind is too tough to slice through easily, remove it in larger chunks and transfer it to a second cutting board, where you can chop it into pieces to serve alongside the sliced roast. Use leftover meat for sandwiches, on good crusty bread.

    Brief Description

    Roasting first at high heat, then low and slow produces crackling skin and tender, juicy meat

    Main Ingredient:

    Pork Loin

    Category:  Pork

    Cuisine:  American

    Prep Time: 1 hour(s)
    Cook Time: 3 hour(s)


    WSJ Off Duty, 1/5/2013, by Molly Stevens

    Posted By:


    Posted On:

    January 6, 2013

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