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SLOW-ROAST PORK BELLY WITH SAGE AND CRACKLING

Slow-roast Pork Belly with Sage and Crackling

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A mouth-watering slow-roast pork belly. How could you say no?

  • Makes : 4 |
  • Difficulty:

  • Prep Time : 30 mins |
  • Cook Time : 3:0 hours
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1.5–2 kg pork belly
Maldon sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
small handful of fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
2 onions, roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
1 leek, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, skin on, bruised
small handful of fresh thyme
2 Tbsp (30 ml) flour
11/2 C (375 ml) dry white wine, verjuice or chicken stock

Preheat the oven to the highest setting, 230–240 °C.

Place the pork belly onto a chopping board and, using a sharp knife, score the skin in strips about 1 cm apart. Season the meat and the skin liberally with salt and pepper, and rub sage into all the slits. Place the pork, skin side up, in a roasting tray and pat the skin dry using paper towel. Roast for 25–30 minutes or until the skin has turned to crackling (it should be golden brown and crisp). Reduce the heat to 170 °C and continue to roast the pork for another hour.

Remove the pork from the oven and place all the vegetables (onions, carrots, celery, leek), garlic and thyme under the pork. Roast for a further hour or until the meat is soft and pulls apart easily. Remove from the oven and transfer the pork to a board, allowing it to rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Spoon away any fat from the roasting tray and place the tray directly onto the stove top. Add the flour and stir, scraping up all the sediment from the bottom of the tray, until a thick mushy paste is formed from all the vegetables. Stir over moderate heat for 2 minutes to cook out the raw flour. Add the wine and bring to a simmer, stirring until a gravy is formed. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve the pork with roasted hasselback potatoes and braised baby carrots.

Roast Garlic

When roasting your pork belly, add 2 bulbs of garlic, halved, and drizzle with a little oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast in the oven for 45–60 minutes or until soft. Use as a spread on toasted ciabatta.