22 March 2011

Slow Roast Pork Belly

Slow Roast Pork BellyNow I don't really like pork. I love bacon and ham and sausages but roast pork is always a bit piggy for me. I do, however, love crackling and have been craving it for sometime. I decided that it was time for me to venture into Sunday lunch territory and actually cook some roast pork myself rather than refusing it and then eating all of Joe's crackling (he actually lets me have some... that's true love) whenever he has it.

I'm usually quite a calm cook but this involved several phone calls to the Mumma and a lot of internet and cookery book research and I was so impressed with the result I think I'll cook it more often and be less sniffy about roast pork in general! Of course I used a Nigella recipe but I actually tweaked and simplified it because I was serving this with cheese mash with leek butter and didn't want the pork to battle with that too much. So for a more exciting Pork Belly recipe look to Nigella's Kitchen: Recipes from the Heart of the Home but for a simple, yummy recipe that will go with anything here's my version.

Roast Pork Belly

Serves 6

2.1kg pork belly, without the bone and with the fat pre-scored
5tbsp soy sauce
5tbsp olive oil

Now I served this with crumbly cheese mash with leek butter, peas, apple sauce, and roasted shallots, carrots, garlic and parsnips but it will really go with whatever you want. You let this sit overnight but when you are ready to cook pre-heat the oven to 150C/300F/Gas Mark 2. I also did more scoring of the fat - it's that that makes cook crackling.
Scored pork belly ready to marinade
Scored pork ready to marinade

1. The night before whisk together the soy sauce and olive oil in the bottom of a shallow dish that is just big enough to fit your piece of pork. You want this to be surrounding the meat but not touching the fat. Cover with tin foil and put in the fridge over night. You can do this in the morning if you are making it for supper.
Pork in its marinade

2. When you go to pre-heat the oven take the pork out of the fridge put in a roasting tin lined with tin foil and leave out to get to room temperature before it goes in the oven.

3. Cook in the oven at 150C for 4 hours. Turn it around half way if you are that way inclined but I just left it.

4. After the 4 hours turn the heat right up to 250C/480F/Gas Mark 9 and cook for a further 1/2 and hour.

5. Let it stand for 20 mins or so covered in foil. Carve on a board - you can take the fat off and break that up separately or just carve roughly following the score lines. I don't think this is supposed to look perfect anyway.

6. Instead of gravy I just squeezed a bit of lemon juice (less than half a lemon) onto the foil to help get the yummy bits off the foil, scraped it all around a bit and then poured into a jug. Because there wasn't very much I plonked a knob of butter in and put it in the oven for five mins.

scraps of roast pork belly

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