From the Urban Kitchen website (http://www.urbankitchentulsa.com/)
What in the world is...porchetta?
You know you've seen the word...was it on a menu? in a cookbook? in a magazine article? Well, I can assure you it was NOT on a menu in Tulsa but if you travel to more exotic lands to eat then you may have seen it on a menu because porchetta (pronounced pohr-KAYT-tah, because it is Italian) is an absolutely delicious dish of slow-roasted boneless suckling pig and is another one of the new darlings of the restaurant world.
Before roasting, the meat is seasoned with a mixture of flavorings including fennel, garlic, pepper, rosemary and salt; sometimes it is stuffed with onions, garlic and herbs. During roasting, the meat is basted with olive oil and/or wine.
Now, for a more entertaining description of the beast, we turn to Tom the Butcher, also known as Tom Mylan, formerly of the butcher shop and food store, Marlow and Daughters in Brooklyn, New York. Tom blogs about all things meat and, frankly, is hilarious. If you are easily offended, do not go to his blog because he is a frequent f-bomb dropper but really only when it's appropriate. This is directly from his blog...bad grammar and all...
"So what is a porchetta? It's is a whole pig that has had all of it's bones removed except for it's head, making a sort of floppy pig suit. The pig cape is then brined in salted water for two to three days along with the boneless loin (or loins) of another pig.
Once the pork has brined the pig is laid out on it's back, the loin is put onto one side of the pig's belly along with fennel tops, rosemary, thyme and garlic and then rolled up like a big porky joint. Once the pig is rolled and tied it is then strapped to a spit where it can be slowly rolled over a heat source like cherry or apple wood logs or for 6-10 hours, rested and then sliced, crossways to reveal the layers of porky goodness with the fennel and extra pork loin at the center."
He then goes into great detail about how to bone the little pig on your dining room table. To read the rest, go to http://tomthebutcher.blogspot.com
This is where I say...if you have the opportunity, you need to try porchetta!