Tuesday, 12 August 2008
Recipe - Roast Pork Belly
I've always wanted to try and cook some pork belly. When we were at the Didcot Farmers Market I spotted what looked like a very nice piece of it. Not much to do, I had to buy it.
Not really knowing how to cook it I had a look in a couple of cookbooks, trying to gauge what temperature was needed and how long it needed to be in the oven for. Needless to say I couldn't find two recipes that said the same. What to do? It was easy, time to freestyle. I took some of the advice and then I decided to go for what felt right.
I freestyled the rub quite a bit. Just take what you think/feel will work nicely, mix it up and work it into the skin and pray you choose the right ingredients and proportions.
The reason for heating the oven to the max in the beginning is to try and maximise the effect on the crackling. Just make sure not to open the oven after the first 10 minutes. Just turn it down to 170 and let it stay closed for another hour.
Next time I cook this I might add something more to the roasting tray, maybe something like apples or fennel. I'm sure I could make some awesome gravy and serve it with some mash.
This time I had it quite plain. The only extra was a generous pouring of Jardine's Buckin' Berry Raspberry Chipotle Sauce. It worked a treat, if you can find it - buy it! I think I'll have to cut down a bit on the spice rub next time too, I had to scrape some off before serving. Next time I might go very basic, just some Maldon salt and olive oil. Either that, or I might go for something very elaborate. Who knows...
Pork belly, bone in (mine weighed in at about 900g)
Two onions, cut into wedges
Pre-heat the oven to the max.
Start by scoring the skin on the pork belly. Then create your rub, using a blender to pulverise the star anise, and mix it well. Rub the spices into the skin, making sure to get it well in between the score lines.
Put the onion wedges into a roasting pan and put the pork on top of them. Let this sit until the oven is warm enough.
Pop the pork into the oven, letting 10 minutes pass. When 10 minutes are up, turn the heat down to 170. Let an hour pass. Take the pork out of the oven and pour out any excess fat that's in the pan. Put it in for another hour. Take it out, pour off the excess fat.
Raise the heat in the oven to 190 and let the pork stay in for about half an hour more. Once done, let it rest for about 15 minutes before cutting it up.