“When you’ve got a big crowd to feed, this recipe is sure to go down an absolute treat. With crispy crackling and rich, fennel-spiked liver stuffing, it makes the perfect Sunday lunch with all the trimmings, or you could serve it up with baps, slaw and an array of condiments for a build-your-own party centrepiece. ”
Place the pork loin on a board, skin side down, and rub all over with a good pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
To make the stuffing, peel and finely slice the onions, then pick and chop the sage leaves. Place a large pan on a medium-low heat with 1 tablespoon of oil and the butter, then add the onions, sage, pine nuts, fennel seeds and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, or until soft and lightly golden, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, place the raisins and Vin Santo in a bowl and set aside to soak. Slice the sourdough and toast until golden, then halve the garlic clove and rub the cut side all over the toast. Pick the rosemary leaves and finely chop with the toast.
Roughly chop the livers and stir into the pan. Turn the heat up to medium-high, stir in the soaked raisins, Vin Santo and toast, then finely grate in the lemon zest. Transfer to a bowl and leave to cool.
Preheat the oven to 220ºC/425ºF/gas 7.
Once cool, use clean hands to scrunch the mixture together, then scatter over the pork. Hold the oysters curved side down on a chopping board, look for the hinge between the top and bottom shell, then poke an oyster knife into the crack and prise it open (it’s not always easy, so you’ll need to use force here – but please be careful!). Press the oysters into the filling, and drizzle over any juices.
Finely grate over the Parmesan, then, starting with one of the shortest edges, roll up the pork, patting on and compacting the stuffing as you go. Tie six pieces of string along the rolled meat to secure it, with the seam underneath, then season well and drizzle with oil, rubbing it all over the skin – this will help you get delicious crackling.
Put the pork into a large roasting tray and place in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the skin is crisp and crackled.
Meanwhile, halve the apples and carrots, then peel and quarter the onions. Remove the pork from the oven and carefully place the apples and veg underneath the pork in the tray, then return to the oven and reduce the temperature to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Cook for a further 4 to 5 hours, or until the meat is really tender, basting now and again.
Remove the porchetta to a clean tray and leave to rest while you make the gravy. Place the roasting tray on a medium heat on the hob. Skim away most of the fat from the surface into a jar, cool, and place in the fridge for another day.
Stir in the flour, scraping up all those gnarly bits from the bottom of the tray. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil for 5 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Strain through a sieve, pushing through all the goodness with the back of a spoon. Remove the string from the porchetta and carve. Serve with the homemade gravy and all the trimmings.