I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Pork Belly is underrated. If you go out for a Sunday roast, it’s usually the cheapest option on the menu but I personally think it makes THE BEST Sunday roast. I mean, look at that crackling.
You’ll need a few hours of patience, but the end result; pork that falls apart, crispy crackling and gravy that is out of this world.
500gish Pork Belly Joint
400ml chicken stock
1 onion halved
3 celery sticks chopped into large chunks
Bunch of fresh herbs – I use sage, thyme & rosemary
Generous serving of salt & pepper
Drizzle of olive oil
1) Start with the pork – ideally you want to leave it uncovered in the fridge overnight to help dry out the skin. Too much moisture & you won’t get the crispy crackling you’re dreaming of!
2) About an hour before you’re ready to cook it, remove from the fridge and let it come to room temperature. Give the skin a generous coating of salt & if your butcher hasn’t already score the pork skin (be careful not to slice down into the meat). At this stage, the salt should help draw out any remaining moisture.
3) Pre-heat the oven to 230 degrees C & then get the pork ready. Using a piece of kitchen towel pat the pork skin to try and remove any moisture and excess salt & add some pepper.
4) Lay the pork in a baking tray (it’ll need to be able to withstand a HIGH heat in the oven – I’ve done this before with a very cheap tray and non-stick completely peeled off!), on top of the onions, celery and herbs. Give the skin a small (I mean small!) drizzle of oil and pop in the oven for 45 minutes.
5) Then, lower the oven to 160 degrees & pour in the stock around the pork (be careful to not get any on the pork skin – it needs to sit just below) and leave to tenderise for 2 1/2 hours!
6) When the times up – remove the meat from the pan and leave to rest. Depending on your hob, place the tray on the hob and add water (if not, you can try and scrap as much out into a separate pan) – the flavour is in all those sticky bits of the pan so make sure you try and get all of it! Leave to reduce for 10 mins – if still watery you can add a tsp of flour / gravy granules. Drain and you’re ready!
7) To serve the pork, I simply cut it half (maybe we’re greedy having half the pork joint each but it’s too good not to be greedy…), serve with crispy roasties, Yorkshire puddings and veg!