This recipe was inspired by a recipe from Moro, the cookbook.
Slow Roast Pork Belly with Fennel, Szechuan Pepper
and Star Anise
2kg belly pork ( 1 piece, scored through rind and fat to flesh in a criss cross pattern)
2tbs fennel seeds
1 tsp Szechuan pepper
1 piece star anise
2 cloves garlic
1 heaped tsp sea salt
150ml dried sherry or wine
- Grind the fennel seeds, Szechuan pepper and star anise in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar.
- Roughly chop the garlic and then add to the ground spiced mixture and grind together.
- Rub spice mixture over bottom of pork and then place in a clean plastic bag or wrap in cling film. If possible leave in refrigerator overnight.
- About 3 hours before roasting, unwrap the pork belly, pat the rind dry with kitchen roll. Remove the loose spice mixture from the bottom of the belly and rub into rind, letting it fall into the crevices, allowing it to come into contact with the flesh.
- Place in a roasting tin and loosely cover. One hour prior to roasting, gently rub the salt onto the rind.
- Preheat the oven to 230C / 450f / Gas 8.
- Place pork into oven and roast for 30 minutes, the rind should start to crisp. Lower the heat to 150C / 300F / Gas 2 and roast for 2 – 3 hours.
- As the meat is roasting, quite a bit of fat will collect in the roasting tin, carefully drain the fat off from time to time.
- After the 2 – 3 hours (the longer the better), turn the oven back up to 230C / 450f / Gas 8. Roast until crackling is perfect (from 10 – 30 minutes). Remove from oven and cover loosely with a cloth or tin foil for 20 – 30 minutes prior to serving.
- Drain any further fat from the roasting tin and deglaze with the sherry or wine. This is the gravy.
This dish goes really well with braised fennel and herby roasted new potatoes.
A fantastic wine to accompany this dish is an Alsace Riesling, which was recommended by Oli from Eynsham Wine Cellars , or Aspall Cyder (tasting notes from Iain which absolutely match both the wine and cyder).
Cave de Ribeauville Riesling – “This is a dry style riesling with a nose of citrus and mineral notes. A luscious palate is followed by crisp acidity to provide an excellent balance.”
Aspall Draught Suffolk Cyder – “Summer cider as it should be. Lovely, tingliness in the mouth and with crisp apples. A hint of sweetness accompanies a long finish.”