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Roast Pork Belly

Thanks to the street food revolution, pulled pork is all the rage again but we’re just as happy to stick with tradition and serve this absolute classic with all the roast trimmings.  Don’t expect to be able to move too far from the sofa after you’ve polished it off but what else would you want to do on a Sunday afternoon!?

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 1.3 kg piece of pork belly
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp sea salt flakes
  • 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 sticks of celery
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 2 onions
  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 75 g plain flour

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 240C/220C (fan)/Gas 9..

  2. Using a Stanley knife, score the skin down to the meat (try not to cut the meat), making the cuts very close together.
  3. Dry the pork belly skin with kitchen paper. Mix the thyme, sea salt and black pepper together in a bowl. Rub this mixture all of the pork and skin, then turn the belly over and rub it on the underside of the pork.

  4. Roughly chop the carrots and celery, then throw these into a roasting tray. Break the garlic bulb up into unpeeled cloves, peel and chop the onions into large wedges, then toss into the tray.
  5. Put the seasoned pork belly on top of the vegetables in the tray, then roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the skin starts to bubble and turn golden brown.
  6. Reduce the oven temperature to 170°C/325°F/gas 3, and roast for 1 hour 30 minutes. When the time’s up, carefully open the oven door and pour in three-quarters of the wine. Cook for 1 further hour.
  7. Remove the meat carefully from the oven and test to see if it pulls apart easily. If not, cook for a little longer. Allow the meat to rest while you make the gravy.
  8. Put the tray of roasted vegetables directly onto your hob over a medium heat, add the flour then stir together until thick. Cook for 1 minute then add in the remaining wine – if you sauce is too thick add a splash more wine or water.
  9. Using a potato masher, mash up the vegetables until you have a delicious thick-looking sauce. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes on a low heat, season to taste, then strain through a sieve into a jug.
  10. Remove the crackling from the top of the belly and break up into pieces, pull the pork belly apart, and serve with the jug of gravy on the side, and a selection of seasonal vegetables.

 

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