Pork Belly - Cracking the crispy code
My favourite way to Pork Belly:
6-12 hours before mealtime, coat the scored fat-side of the belly with a layer quality salt. Place the belly back in the fridge uncovered on a caketray.
4 hours before mealtime, turn your oven to 220C Fanforced. Slowly rinse the salt off the fat with 2L boiling water - this gives the fat a head-start and pulls the skin tight. Dry the skin thoroughly with paper towels.
Now oil the fat with your choice of oil, and reapply a generous amount of salt, being sure to get it into all the scores.
For the meat side of the belly prepare a mix of:
- Pinch of finely ground pepper
- A teaspoon of fennel or caraway seeds
- Half a teaspoon of ground sage
- A teaspoon of dried thyme
- I also like a few dashes of worcestershire sauce to moisten the rub.
Rub the mix into the meat-side of the belly.
Slice 2 cored apples thinly (I like Granny Smith) and place in a rectangle the shape of the cut of belly in a baking try or dish.
Place the belly on top of the sliced apples.
Blast the belly at 220 for 20-30 mins keeping a close eye on the colour
of the fat. My rule is I like to see 1/3 to 3/4 of the colour (and therefore crunch) developed on the fat before I turn the heat down. You want to see an even golden-brown colour with bubbles!
When you're there, turn the heat down to 160C and bake for preferably another 3-4 hours. If you're in a hurry then 180C for 2-2.5 hours should be fine.
When your belly is cooked and perfect spoon out the apple and blend or mash with a little pepper and a pinch of nutmeg or cinnamon. Bon appitet!