Gallery: The Food Lab: Deep-Fried, Sous Vide, 36-Hour, All-Belly Porchetta (or, the Most Freaking Delicious Thing to Ever Come Out of My Kitchen)

Porky Perfection
Porky Perfection

Crisp, golden exterior and perfectly smooth, tender, juicy center with an intense pork flavor.

In The Bag
In The Bag

A pork in the bag is worth two in the... bush? I dunno what the expression is. Anyhow, once your porchetta is tied up (see the base recipe here), slide it into a vacuum bag and drop it into a 155°F water bath for 36 hours.

Peel
Peel

After chilling the porchetta in an ice bath for 10 minutes, the gelatinous juices that have collected in the bag should congeal into a solid, rubbery mass stuck to the pork. Carefully peel off as much as you can with your fingers and collect it, being careful not to tear or bruise the pork skin.

Rinse
Rinse

Rinse the porchetta under hot running water in order to pick off any remaining congealed juices or fat pockets. This is to prevent them from suddenly causing a violent bubbling when you start to deep fry it.

Dry Thoroughly
Dry Thoroughly

You never want to put wet food into a pot of hot oil, so very carefully dry your porchetta.

Trim As Necessary
Trim As Necessary

Trim your Porchetta so that it fits nicely inside your deep fryer or wok. Trimmings can be sliced thin and served cold for breakfast, sandwiches, or on a charcuterie plate.

Fry the Sucker
Fry the Sucker

Heat up two quarts of peanut oil or lard (or a mixture) to 425°F, then carefully lower your porchetta into it. Cover with a lid and stand back for the first 2 minutes gently shaking the pan occasionally to keep it moving. You'll hear it spit and sputter like crazy then start to settle down.

Baste
Baste

Use a large spatula to spoon hot oil over the top of the roast continually so that it can cook at a relatively even rate with the bottom. Again, stand back as you do this and wear long-sleeved shirts and log pants to avoid burns from the sputtering oil.

Flip and Continue
Flip and Continue

Flip the whole roast upside down after five to eight minutes tro crisp up the second side.

Out of the Fat
Out of the Fat

Once it's done crisping, it's technically ready-to-serve, but you can hold it in a (200°) oven for up to 45 minutes before serving.

Mount the Sauce
Mount the Sauce

When the pork is ready and sitting on its cutting board, heat up its juices until they melt in a skillet, then stir in a couple tablespoons of butter. This is your sauce.

Check Out That Skin!
Check Out That Skin!

Incredible texture!

Served
Served

Slice the porchetta into rounds and serve them along with a drizzle of sauce and a big salad on the side.

20111206-deep-fried-porchetta-primary.jpg
20111206-deep-fried-porchetta-primary.jpg