Pork Belly is one of our all time favourites. We cook different variations of this dish on our Best of British Meat course & Sara Danesin’s popular Italian Cookery Course.
Here are our top tips to create the perfect pork belly for you to enjoy at home.
Pork Belly – 2.5kg of Pork Belly serves 6 generously, or 8 modestly & our favourite pork is Packington Free Range.
We season with the finest Maldon Sea Salt Flakes for that salty, crispy skin.
How to Make Great Pork Belly
1) Score the skin (or get your butcher to do this) & rub in sea salt. All over the dry skin (we use a combination of fennel seeds and Maldon Sea Salt to give a delicious flavour).
Place this on a trivet (a selection of chopped onions & carrots) and place the pork belly on top of it.
2) Place in a hot oven (220 deg C) for 20 minutes until the skin starts to crisp.
Then cool the oven to 120 degrees and cook for a further 1.5 hours
3) Allow to cool, before covering with a baking tray and weighting down with either some bricks or some heavy bottles to press the pork overnight in the fridge. (This will allow you to carve it neatly into squares and allow it to be presented quickly & attractively.)
4) Carve the pork belly neatly into squares when cool. Reheat at 120 degrees for 30 minutes, turning up to 220 degrees for a further 15 minutes to crisp your crackling up!
5) Rest for 15 minutes in a warm place (but do not cover with foil as this will cause the crackling to go soggy). Serve with vegetables and a delicious sauce (we love a cider & apple sauce and mashed potatoes).
Cider & Onion sauce (serves 8)
Pork jelly & fat from roasting tin
1 pint of cider
1/2 pint of cream
Salt & pepper
1) Save the pork jelly and the pork fat from the pork roasting pan – this will turn into a jelly whilst it is being pressed in the fridge.
2) Slice 2-3 onions and then sweat slowly in a large heavy based pan. This should take about 20 minutes and the onions should soften but not brown unduly.
3) Add the cider and reduce by 1/2 to intensify the flavour. Then add the pork jelly & fat from the roasting pan (up to this stage can be done in advance).
4) Add the cream to the hot cider & onion sauce and reduce further until you have the desired consistency.
5) If you want a smooth sauce, blitz this with a hand held blender and then pass through a sieve. Alternatively serve as it is with chunks of onion for the perfect rustic accompaniment to your pork.