12 July, 2014
Roast Pork Belly with Crackling
What could be better on a rainy winter night than roast port belly, vegetables and crackling? And good crackling is so easy once you know the knack.
Start out with a piece of pork belly, ask your butcher to score the skin for you (or use a sharp knife to do it yourself). Preheat the oven as hot as you can, mine goes up to 220 degrees Celsius. Put the piece of pork into a roasting dish, season the bottom with salt and pepper, then flip it over and rub salt into the skin – I use flaky seasalt.
Put the pork into the hot oven and allow to start crackling. The salt and heat will help dry out the skin to give you good hard crackling.
Once the crackling has started, after about 30 minutes (depending on the size of your piece of port belly), add the vegetables. Use your favourite vegetables for roast – we use potatoes, yams, squash, carrots, beetroot and onions – remove the pork, add the vegetables into the pork fat and stir in, then add half a bottle of cider (either pear or apple is fine) and mix vegetables – this will help keep the vegetables and pork moist, and caramelise somewhat too. Put the pork back on top and put back into the hot oven.
Leave the oven up full until the crackling is cooked – you’ll be able to tell by ‘knocking’ on it with a spoon or tongs, it will sound hard. Then turn the oven down to about 180 degrees Celsius until the vegetables are cooked. If you want to add mushrooms and capsicum, do this at the end.
Take the pork out to rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Enjoy your dinner!