Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Slow Roast Belly of Pork

Recipe (for 4)
Have your butcher remove the bone and keep the skin on.  Take the pork bone home and use it as a trivet to roast the pork on (so the meat doesn't catch on the bottom of the baking dish), or give to your doggie


I kg joint of belly of pork
A small handful of rosemary sprigs (stems removed)
3 small cloves of garlic sliced
Salt, pepper and olive oil

Rub the port all over with a little olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place the pork, crackling side down, in roasting pan and rub the sliced garlic and rosemary over the bottom of the piece of pork.   Place a piece of foil over this  to hold the garlic and herbs in place.

Put the bones into a heavy roasting dish to form a trivet.  This will help prevent the bottom burning.

The key to perfect crackling is a hot oven, but in contrast, they key to a falling apart tender roast, is slow baking.  So I heat the pre-heat the oven to 200 C and roast for about 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to  125 C for another 3 1/2 hours until cooked and tender.  If you are not confident, invest in a meat thermometer, which tells you how the meat is done.

Remove the meat from the oven, and let it rest for at least 10 minutes.  If you skip this and slice the meat prematurely, the meat will dry out.  
Slice or simply pull the skin off then shred or pull apart and serve with pickled red cabbage and a simple green or citrus salad. 

Tip:  If you skin doesn't crisp simply pull it off and throw under a medium-hot grill.  Watch it carefully as it blisters quickly, and burns twice as fast.

Alternative:  Spice it up Asian style with crushed (mortar and pestle) Sichuan pepper, chinese five spice powder, and equal parts salt and pepper.  Serve with steamed rice, and asian style greens (bok chow, asparagus or beans in a simple sesame oil/soy sauce with some toasted sesame seeds thrown in).

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