Sunday, 9 December 2012

Slow roasted pork belly with sea salt and fennel

I often cook roast pork at home. Belly pork is a favourite of mine. Slow roasted so the meat falls apart and a crispy crackling flavoured with sea salt and fennel seeds , it's a marriage made in heaven.
Very simple to do this is my recipe for the pork belly which I think is one of the tastiest cuts.

No matter how sharp I think my knife is I still struggle to get decent cuts in the skin. This is essential for great crackling. Even if I buy a joint from the supermarket that has been pre-scored it's never great there's usually just a couple of haphazard cuts so I always use a scalpel and score lines close together. This gives great results and makes carving easier, plus each person gets a nice slice of crackling.

Preheat your oven as high as it will go to get the oven hot whilst you prepare your pork.
Pat dry your pork and score lines in the skin close together .
Rub a small amount of oil over the meat and skin then sprinkle with sea salt and fennel seeds making sure you get plenty within the score lines and all over the skin.
No amounts necessary for this just simply put on the amount you like. I like a lot of fennel .

Once your pork is ready lower the oven temperature down to gas mark 3 and put in your pork and cook for 4 hours.
No need to blast it for 1/2 hour on high heat then turn temperature down as some recipes suggest this method does work and it's fool proof .
Keep an eye on it at 2 to 3 hours if it looks like the skin is getting too dark just cover the top loosely with foil for the remainder of cooking time.

Don't worry when you take the pork out of the oven if the skin appears soft it will harden up during its resting time .

That's it, carve and enjoy .

Score skin close together

Make sure you get Fennel seeds and salt right in between the cuts

Lovely crispy crackling

Lovely moist meat and crispy crackling

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