Don’t you just love those long lazy Sunday lunches, lovely wine, nice chilled music and sitting around the table for hours laughing and chatting with friends?
Yeah, dream on Sarah…
Our Sunday lunches are frantic, sometimes shouty, definitely wine-fuelled and with Axel crying, “Look at my willy, look at my willy!” as background music, but never the less I adore them!
Because for me it’s is all about the food (ok… and the wine!)
One of my all time favourite roasts is slow cooked belly pork, it’s meltingly tender and tastes incredible, it’s stupidly cheap and any bloody fool can cook it. As long as you cook it long and slow, and I mean long, we are talking 3 hours minimum here you are onto a winner.
The following recipe is a new one for me and came about by accident really, I often crush fennel seeds, black pepper and rock salt to rub into my pork skin, but on this occasion I had run out of black peppercorns.
After much swearing and banging of cupboard doors, I found some pretty pink peppercorns I had used for Nigella Lawson’s ‘spiced and super juicy roast turkey’ recipe, lurking in the cupboard, so used them instead.
The flavour is only slightly more fragrant, but the colour is so gorgeous I wanted to share it with you.
We eat this the typical Danish way, with peeled new potatoes, red cabbage from a jar and winey gravy. So simple, yet so damn good!
What you need
1 ½ kilo piece of belly pork, ask butcher to score it for you. (in Spanish it’s pancetta)
2 tablespoons rock salt
4 or 5 bay leaves
1 tablespoon pink or black peppercorns
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 large onions, sliced thickly, about 1 cm, no need to peel
glug of olive oil
What you do
Take pork out of the fridge, approximately ½ hour before you start cooking. Pre-heat oven to 200°.
In a roasting tin, large enough to hold the meat, lay out the onions to make a bed on which to sit the pork. Arrange bay leaves on top.
Crush the rock salt, fennel seeds & peppercorns in a pestle & mortar. (If you haven’t got one, place ingredients into a freezer bag, cover with a tea towel and bash with something hard like a rolling pin or roll over with a tin of beans or similar.)
Drizzle a little olive oil over your pork; rub it in well with your hands and then scatter your fragrant herb mix over the pork rind, patting it down as you go. You might not need it all, any leftovers can used again; it’s fab rubbed over roast chicken and equally any firm white fish.
Lift meat onto onions, pour a little water into the roasting pan till it just comes up to the bottom of the meat, and pop into the oven.
Give it 20 minutes at this high heat then drop down to 170° and cook for 3 hours, if you go over this time it only gets better.
Check the water level a few times during cooking and top up with a glass of water when needed.
At the end of cooking your belly pork should have an impressive crown of crispy crackling and the meat should be meltingly tender, if you find your crackling hasn’t crisped up enough, give it a quick final blast under a hot grill. But watch it like a hawk as it can burn very quickly.
Leave the meat to rest on a board for 20 mins before carving, so that all the lovely juices have settled into the meat, but by all means rip yourself off a strip of crackling and eat when no one is looking.
Eat it and weep my friends, eat it and weep!
P.S. Leftovers make the most incredible sandwich, check out the recipe right here.
What’s is your favourite roast recipe, let me know in the comments below so that I can salivate and steal your recipes in equal measure!
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