This Crispy Roast Pork Belly is from this months BBC Good Food Magazine and it was absolutely delicious. Overall it was really easy too. It took a little bit of prep the day before and on the day you just slice up some veg, stick it under the belly and roast for 2 hours. You wouldn’t want to stray too for from the oven though because there is a lot of temperature adjusting and adding the apple juice and vermouth. No big deal, but it just means you can’t stick it in the oven and leave the house.
If this is a part of a big Sunday roast and you’re doing loads of trimmings you should definitely use a kitchen timer or the timer on a smart phone to remind you of when to change the oven temperature. That is something that I know I would certainly forget. My Cumin Glazed Carrots would work really well but I would switch the cumin for the same amount of coriander seed. The pork belly is very rich so I would probably just steam a few potatoes instead of mash or roasties which would probably have oil or butter added. I’d love steamed baby potatoes here.
Pork belly gets its richness from the fat through it. There’s also a thick layer on the outside that you can get your butcher to trim away, if you like. Whether you do or don’t, just make sure that it’s a 2 kilogram piece so you can follow the cooking times in the recipe below.
- 2 Kg pork belly, bones in
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp chilli seeds
- 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
- half a lemon
- 2 onions
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 apple halved
- 250 ml cloudy apple juice
- 250 ml sherry or dry vermouth
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the bicarbonate of soda. Place the belly into the pot and allow to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Add the chilli and coriander to a dry frying pan and toast for a minute or two until the coriander becomes aromatic. Grind to a powder in a pestle and mortar with the sea salt.
- Take out the pork and place it skin side down on a roasting tray. Pat dry with kitchen paper and prod it all over with a sharp knife. Add half the spice mix and rub it in.
- Flip the pork over and pat the surface dry. Score the fat layer with a sharp knife and squeeze the lemon over it and rub the juice in with the fleshy part of the lemon. Pat dry again and rub the remaining spice mix into it.
- Refrigerate uncovered for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours.
- Remove from the fridge 30 minutes before roasting and preheat the oven to 240 degrees Celsius.
- Chop the onions and fennel into thick slices and tuck them in under the meat.
- Transfer the tray to the oven to bake for 40 minutes, rotating the tray halfway through.
- Then turn the oven down to 160 degrees Celsius and add the apple halves, vermouth/sherry and apple juice and roast for an hour at 160.
- After an hour at 160, turn the oven up again to 220 degrees Celsius and continue roasting for another 15 minutes.
- Then remove the pork and allow to rest for 15 minutes. Leave the tray with the veg and juices in to oven at a low heat.
- Flip the pork over so it is skin side down and with a sharp knife cut it into chunky slices in line with the rib bones.
- Transfer to a platter or carving board and spoon over some of the hot pan juices and tuck in.