[Photograph: Bruce Wolf]

When Olympic Provisions opened up shop in 2009 (see our tour here), it was the first salumeria in Oregon officially licensed to produce and sell their own charcuterie. From then it was only a matter of time before the salumeria launched a couple of successful restaurants and a meat processing plate. Their food is, naturally, meat-centered, and their Porchetta Sandwich featured in Laurie Wolf's Portland, Oregon Chef's Table, is truly a testament to the pig.

The porchetta itself is a relatively simple one: the belly is brined in a melange of Italian herbs and spices before being wrapped around Italian sausage, browned, and slow roasted in the oven. Once cooked, the sandwich assembly is a quick slice, heat, and serve process. It's a barebones sandwich, but a tasty one.

Why I picked this recipe: Do I need to explain the appeal of slow-roasted pork belly?

What worked: I'd hesitate to call this a true porchetta roast, given that it is simply a roasted belly filled with sausage, but whatever it is, the end result is rich, flavor-packed, and makes for a delightfully porky sandwich.

What didn't: The brine recipe makes a ton. You could cut everything in half and it'd still cover the belly just fine. In addition, the recipe doesn't offer much in the way of sandwich assembly directions, directing to heat and serve on bread, but the picture (and online menu) suggests that Olympic Provisions serves their porchetta with mayonnaise and balsamic-glazed onions. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Suggested tweaks: Next time, I'd try crisping the porchetta slices in a bit of rendered fat instead of warming in broth for a crunchier take on the sandwich. I'd also mix up my own Italian sausage from scratch. Finally, the porchetta would also make an excellent sub for bacon in a BLT.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Portland, Oregon Chef's Table to give away.

About the author: Kate Williams is a freelance writer out of Berkeley, CA. She is a contributor to The Oxford American and blogs at cookingwolves.wordpress.com.

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