Thursday, June 16, 2011

Crispy Pork Belly Roast - EuropAsian style

Lazy Lunches by iSa

Type: Pork Mains
Prep Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 2 Hours
Servings: 3 - 4 Portions (depending on portion size)

  • 1 kg Pork Belly (one piece)
  • 3 tsp Five spice
  • 2 tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Hot English mustard
  • 5 tbsp brown/treacle sugar
  • Juice of 1 Lemon
  • Juice of 1 Orange
  • 9 Cloves
  • Rosemary Sprigs
  • 1/2 onion
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • Salt 
  • Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 1 Cider
  • Sauerkraut
  • Veggies of choice: Corn and Sweet Peas
  • Potato wedges or mashed potatoes
  • 1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

How to make a mysterious Pork Belly Marinade: Start by pre-heating the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 degrees celsius). Now, start getting your hands dirty by rubbing the skin side with the bicarbonate of soda, let it stand for about 2 minutes and then rinse it thoroughly. Place the meat cut on an oven tray (meat side down) and cut the skin on the top in diamond or cube shapes. Make sure you don't cut too deep, just enough to score the skin, not only will it look pretty, but it will allow the fat to cook down and the skin to turn crispy. Rub in throughout the meat the salt, pepper, five spice, cayenne pepper, paprika, mustard, soy sauce and sugar. Bathe the meat, trying to keep the skin dry, with the lemon and orange juices, followed by the cider while allowing all the liquids to flow into the oven tray. Chop the garlic and onion roughly and add to the oven tray juices. Next, place the meat in the tray, skin side up again, and stick the aromatic cloves and rosemary sprigs spread out in the incisions, rub the skin with a bit of salt and then pour some olive oil on top of the skin and through the cuts.

Stick it into the oven and let it cook away for approximately 2 hours, checking on it from time to time to make sure the skin doesn't burn and the juices don't dry or burn.

How to get the crackling right: Apart from the bicarbonate trick, keeping the skin dry from marinade and seasoning it with salt and olive oil, try to keep the skin dry form liquids and rather sprinkle it from time to time with a bit more olive oil. If towards the end of the 2 cooking hours the skin is not crispy, then take it out and let it rest outside the juices, while allowing these to keep reducing in the oven. Place a non-stick pan and some oil on the stove on low to medium heat and place the meat on top, skin side down. Be careful! the juices from the meat might roll down to the pan, causing the oil to burst out of the pan and getting you hurt. Please remember you only need to do this for a little while, and inly in the event that the skin doesn't get crispy. I made the mistake to bathe the entire piece of meat (skin included) and I take it that's why my skin didn't crispy up, so now I've included here the method to get crispy chicharrones, from a Colombian recipe to this one, it should work beautifully.
Serve with Hot english mustard and Sauerkraut on the side, as well as Potato wedges or mash. Veggies is a good inclusion as they help you keep it balanced and clean the palate between bites. I chose Corn on the cob, but would also taste very nice with grained corn and Sweet peas, simply boiled.


Love, iSa

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