It’s roasted pork belly to you and me, it’s belly of pork if you’re watching Masterchef. In either case, it is super finger-lickin’ delicious. It takes a few hours to make, but the actual preparation time is minimal.
Everyone has his or her favourite and fool-proof pork belly recipe these days. I am sure many of these work just as well. This works for me:
Pre-heat the oven to 220 Celcius.
I line the bottom of a suitably sized pyrex roasting dish such that the meat can rest on it, and won’t sit in its own fat. Onions and juniper berries, apples and sage, or -my favourite- fennel and a very generous amount of star anise. Cut the fruit or vegetable in chunky bits and line the dish. Perforate the belly skin with neat parallel cuts no more than 10 mm apart – you will use those later to cut through the crackling skin, so get this right. Rub a tablespoon or corse sea salt into the perforated skin, and place the meat, skin-side up, into the dish. Add 150 ml of water
Pop into the oven and roast at 220 C for 20 minutes, then reduce to 140 C and roast for 3 hours. Finally, give it a 10 minute quicky at 220 Celcius again to crisp the skin.
I usually serve this with a noodle soup in Chinese, Thai or Vietnamese style, or with a seasonal soup of garden vegetables. Whatever you serve it with, the pork belly will be the star of the show.