Pork Belly with crackling can be tricky to achieve, follow this easy to follow recipe and get it right every time.
- 2x 1 kg boneless pork belly, skin scored using a Stanley Knife or box cutter
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- 100 ml of vinegar or lemon juice
- 1 fennel bulb cut into thick slices
- 2 onions peeled and cut into thick slices
- 1 apple peeled and sliced
- 250ml cloudy apple juice
- 250ml sherry or dry vermouth
- Bring a large pan of water, big enough to fit the pork bellies in, to the boil. Add the bicarb and poach the pork on a gentle simmer for 4 mins.
- Meanwhile, put the coriander seeds and chili flakes in a small pan and toast over medium heat until the seeds are aromatic, being careful not to burn the chili.
- Lift the pork out of the pan using two slotted spoons and put in a roasting tin, rind-side down. Pat dry with a kitchen towel and pierce the meat all over with a knife.
- Grind the toasted spices with the salt using a pestle and mortar or with a blender, then cover the meat with half the spiced salt.
- Turn the pork over and pat the rind dry with kitchen paper, pressing down to make sure it’s completely dry
- Squeeze the vinegar/lemon juice all over the scored rind and leave for a few minutes to soak in
- Pat dry again and rub the remaining salt mixture over, making sure it gets into the grooves.
- Chill, uncovered, for a minimum of 1 hour, preferably overnight or longer in your fridge
- Bring the pork out of the fridge 30 mins before you want to cook it and let it warm to room temperature
- Heat oven to a high temp – 230C.
- Chop the onion and fennel and place them in the bottom of a roasting pan, place the pork on top, rind side up
- Roast for 40 mins, turning the roasting tin halfway so that it cooks evenly.
- Turn the oven down to 160C add the apple, apple juice, and sherry to the pan and cook for 1 hr.
- Turn the oven up to 220C and roast for a further 10-15 mins until the crackling is crisp. Remove from the oven and rest for at least 15 mins, keeping the juices, apple, onion, and fennel warm in a low oven. Place the cracking side down onto a board and use a very sharp knife to cut it up into chunks,
- Spoon over the juices and veggies
- Serve with whole-grain mustard