Sunday, 29 August 2010

Slow roast pork belly

As this is most un-August like day I've ever seen, thoughts are turning more to autumn and winter food now rather than the summer fare we have been having. Currently it's 10C, blowing a gale and for God's sake we even had HAIL earlier - I mean what on earth is all that about !

Anyway enough about the weather. I have an ongoing subscription to BBC Good Food magazine and on the whole I find it a mine of useful recipes and tips. Sometimes it gets a bit repetitive but I have been subscribing now for nearly 5 years so what can I expect !! So October's edition fell onto the mat earlier this week and once I'd got over my shock at getting a magazine for October I found some real gems in there I want to try out on the family.

A couple of weeks ago I'd got a bargainous piece of rolled free-range belly pork from the meat counter at Waitrose and bunged it in the freezer. The cover recipe from this latest edition suited that to a T. It's a recipe by Matt Tebbutt and the main course of a suggested 3 course menu. I will most likely be trying the other courses too !

It went really well. I had a slightly smaller piece of pork than suggested at 0.95 kgs so only used 1/2 the herb rub and cooked it for about 2.5 hours. What I got was a lovely piece of juicy pork perfumed with garlic, lemon, thyme and fennel (not my fave thing in the world but ok here). The crackling crackled in all the right places - I claimed the last piece as cooks privilege ! I did a traditional roast with tatties, parsnips and veg plus the obligatory apple sauce - yum.

THREE HOUR PORK BELLY (by Matt Tebbutt via Good Food mag)
serves 6

2 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 small bunch thyme, leaves picked
3 garlic cloves
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5-2kg piece belly pork boneless and skin scored
2 lemons juiced

Toast the fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry frying pan for a few minutes
Pound to a paste with the thyme and garlic and a pinch of flaked sea salt
Mix with 2 tbsp olive oil and rub all over the flesh of the pork - leave for at least a couple of hours or overnight
I then rolled up my piece of pork and tied it with string but it's not compulsory !
Rub the skin with olive oil and plenty of salt to make sure the crackling is good (as an aside here I've found my secret to good crackling is to make sure the skin is as dry as possible before cooking)
Put into a 200C oven for 30 mins before turning down to 160C and roasting for 2 hours. Turn back up to 220C to give the crackling a final blast for up to 30 mins at the end.
Allow to rest for 20 mins before slicing and serving.

Two more pics of the finished thing. Even my two boys wolfed it down !

The lush crackling

End on (please excuse the pink board !)

1 comment:

  1. oh that look delish! I must try that, I love pork and I adore crackling.

    I have tagged you in an award on my blog

    L xx