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Early this year, I made a pork belly sandwich, with lots of condiments and vegetables. This time, I promise you that I kept it simple and clean. I was tempted to make this pork sandwich right after I watched a TV show about this shop in Vancouver: Meat and Bread. The shop only sells around 3-4 simple sandwich menus, and one of their signature dishes is this epic-looking Porchetta Sandwich wrapped in a simple ciabatta bread with some salsa verde spread on top.  On one of the scene, there is this part where the guy cut that luscious Pork into small cubes and ‘sprinkle’ the skin on top of pork cubes…at that point I knew I had to make it.

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So on Saturday morning, I started the preparation for my Ciabatta bread. Ciabatta needs 2 days to make, you need to prepare the Biga – starter the day before. On the same day I started to prepare the pork and the marination process. 12 hours were needed to marinate the pork. It was a fun affair making the bread and preparing the pork, I could almost taste the sandwich in my mouth.

Theen.. sunday came, and I had a schedule to see my dentist in the morning. So I went. And things started to go down the hill…. After checking, he said that I needed to do some surgery to extract my wisdom tooth .. oooh good news never have a good timing , huh? So I did. Painfully.

Back at home, staring at my pork, sad…. I still needed to make it anyway, but I can’t have it for at least for the next 5 days until the wound from surgery is fully recovered….huaahhhhh… Nevertheless I continued making it. My lucky husband had the honor of first taste of that glorious pork sandwich. And I can tell from his face, he is loving it to the very last bit. :((.  He said this one is much better than the one that I made last time, more tasty and juicy.

Huks… dear pork, just wait for me for another 5 days, ok?  I keep you nice and cold, just hang in there.

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For the Ciabatta Bread (makes 2 loaves) – Adapted from The Kitchn

Things you need:

Biga:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon active-dry yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (important – do not use bread flour or else you got ciabatta with smaller holes like me)

Ciabatta:

  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons water
  • 1 teaspoon active-dry yeast
  • Biga
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Things you need to do:

Follow instruction from The Kitchn on how to make the ciabatta. You can skip this portion and buy ciabatta bread from the local bakery.

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For the Porchetta (using 1 Kg Pork Belly )

Things you need:

1 Kg Pork Belly – Skin on

Salt Rub

  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tsp  fresh rosemary
  • 2 tsp fennel seed, crushed
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • 2 tsp ground black pepper
  • zest of 1 lemon

Herb

  • 2 tbsp roughly chopped flat leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp fresh rosemary

Salsa Verde:

  • 1 handful of parsley
  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 2 tsp ground fennel seeds
  • 2 tsp coriander ground
  • 2 tsp chili flakes
  • salt
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • lemon juice from 2 lemons

Things you need to do:

Make the pork. Combine the ingredients for the salt rub in a small bowl. Sprinkle the inside of the pork belly with half of salt rub then spread the herb rub in the centre of the belly. Tightly roll up the belly and tie together with kitchen string. Rub the skin generously with some oil and the rest of the salt rub. Put the rolled pork in a deep roasting pan, cover and keep it in the fridge for at least 12 hours.

Pre-heat the oven to 140 C. Place the porchetta in the oven.  Roast the pork in the oven for 3-4 hours on the center of the rack. Using a meat thermometer check the internal temperature. If the temp is already around 73-75 C, turn the heat up to 230 C and continue to roast for 25-35 minutes, keeping an eye on the skin. Make sure not to burn that crackling golden brown goodness.

Once done, take out from the oven and let it rest on a chopping board for 15 – 20 mins before you start chopping it.

Make the salsa verde. Using the food processor, puree all ingredients all together. Set aside.

Assembling the epic sandwich. Cut your ciabatta bread horizontally, toast it until hot and crispy. Spread a thin layer of salsa verde on it. Chop your porchetta into small cubes, set aside the crispy skin. Put the pork on the sandwich and top it with the skin. Sprinkle a teaspoon of the salsa verde as garnish. Serve it with spicy mustard. ENJOY.

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