1.5 - 2 kg Pork Belly
Salt and ground black peppercorn
2 onions, sliced
2 carrots, peeled, halved length way and cut into finger long
2 sticks of celery, cut into finger long
1 bulb of garlic, broken into cloves and peeled
Clean and remove excess hair form the belly. Using a shape knife (utility/pen knife works wonder), make scores about centimeter apart through the skin into the fat in a criss-cross pattern, throughout the whole skin surface. Do not cut into the meat.
Rub salt right into the scores. Brush off any excess salt from the skin and flip the meat over. Season evenly the underside of the belly with salt and black pepper.
Leave the piece of marinated meat in the open, preferably some where windy. My trick is to place a blowing fan directly in front of the belly for hours. Scoring and drying the skin will reward you with the crispy crackling of a good belly roast.
Preheat the oven at 220 °C.
Place the pork belly, skin side-up, in a roasting tray (big enough to hold the belly and all the vegetable) and place in the hot oven for half an hour until the skin of the pork starts to puff up, turning into crackling.
Lower the temperature to 180 °C and roast for another hour.
Remove the belly from the oven. Carefully lift the belly up and transfer to a chopping board. Pour the oil from the belly into a container.
Add all the vegetable to the tray. Place the pork belly on top of the vegetable and return the tray to the oven and roast at the same temperature for another hour. By this time, the meat should be meltingly soft and tender and the skin crispy.
You can slice the meat and serve as main or chop into bite-size. The belly goes very well with rockets and buttercup lettuce with mustard or balsamic reduction.
Bring on the Pinot Noir!
|Fresh vegetable provides moisture and extra flavor to the belly|
|The belly after 1.5 hours in the oven|
|Lay the cut vegetable evenly in the roasting tray|
|Place the belly on top of the vegetable and roast for another hour|