For some Italian celebrations, this moist, boneless roast uses an entire pig—talk about a crowd-pleaser! For our more minimalist version, we use the belly (ask your butcher for a 50% fat ratio), brine it before smothering it in garlic and herbs and cook it slow and low. The result? Succulent, savoury meat that’s the ideal texture—a cross between cured and roasted. Thinly sliced and stuffed into sandwiches or served family-style on a platter, this dish guarantees your guests will go hog wild.
On a work surface, place the pork belly flat. If needed, cut the thickest part of the pork to open like a book and create an approximate rectangle about ¾ inch (2 cm) thick. With a small sharp knife, score the outer fat.
Season both sides of the meat with the salt. Rub both sides with the lemon and orange halves. Season with pepper. Place the meat in a glass dish, fat side down, and cover with the sage leaves. Refrigerate uncovered for 12 hours.
In a small skillet over medium heat, soften 4 cloves of garlic and the herbs in the oil. Let cool.
With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 265°F (130°C).
On a work surface, place the meat fat side down. Remove the sage and pat the meat dry with paper towels. Cover with the cooled herb mixture. Tightly roll the meat. Tightly tie with twine. Coat with the remaining garlic (2 cloves) and place in a roasting pan.
Bake for 4 hours 30 minutes. Remove from the oven.
Finish cooking in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Brown the roast on all sides until crisp.
Slice the roast, and enjoy as is or in a sandwich. Delicious with the Parsley Sauce Vierge.