Delicious, easy, a discovery waiting to be made…. Have you got this lovely roast in your repertoire? The first time I cooked belly pork, I tried a recipe that suggested a high temperature and roast for an hour. Nope, wrong, tough as boots, it seemed to actually require some proper cheffing! No thank you. Follow the advise of my wise friend who knew the magic, easy way: Use a low temperature and hours of slow cooking. The pork falls of the bones, is full of effortless flavour, and to date I have had at least one vegetarian asking for seconds (sorry).
Simple Slow Roast Belly Pork (serves 3-4)
1kg Belly Pork, on the bone (ask the butcher to score the skin)
3 carrots, peel and chopped in half lengthways
3 sticks celery, washed and chopped in half
2 red onions, peeled and halved
Sprig of fresh sage
1 bay leaf
Sprinkling of fresh rosemary
Red wine (optional)
First step is to rub the pork belly with salt and pop into a hot oven, uncovered for about 20 minutes. If you’re using an Aga, put it skin side down in your roasting pot, on the floor of the roasting oven. Otherwise, put it skin side up with the oven temperature at 200C.
After 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 140C. Lift up the pork, pop your prepared vegetables and herbs in the pot, sit the pork back on top of the veg, add a splash of water, and seal up the pot with foil and/or a good fitting lid: You want to keep all the moisture and flavours in.
Cook in the oven at 140C for 4 hours (Aga simmering oven), or an even lower temperature (110C) for longer.
Half an hour before serving, remove the skin from the pork. It will probably lift off, but if not just slice it off gently. Put the skin on a baking tray, and put it back in the oven at maximum (200C or more). I’ve never sussed reliably perfect crackling, but this seems to produce something pretty good every time 🙂 Just keep an eye on it and take it out of the oven before it carbonises.
Whilst your crackling crisps up, put the pork onto a warmed serving dish, together with the carrot, celery and onion. Keep it warm to rest.
In the roasting pan make a nice little gravy – remove the big herb sprigs, add a little balsamic vinegar, splash of red wine. Boil it down so it thickens a bit; or add a bit of cornflour, or that gravy powder that makes you go Aaaah, mixed with water.
Don’t even think about tidy carving, this is a flakey, spoon and fork sort of roast. Serve with roast potatoes, braised red cabbage with apple, green veg, and whatever wine you didn’t consume whilst making the gravy.
More to… Mountain Retreats
Space to breathe, time to think and lovely home cooked food
Where to start… this has been so what I needed: The views, the ambiance, the ‘away-from-it-all-ness,’ the wonderful food that so calmly and magically appeared, the log fire…. You have created a perfect space for people just to be – thank you so, so much. It’s been a joy to relax with other people ‘just being’ and have your quiet, wise support. The perfect recharge, refocus, relax…