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Roasted Pork Belly with Fennel Seeds

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg organic or free-range pork belly in one piece, skin on and scored.
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed with a pinch of salt.
  • 1 tablespoon ground fennel seeds.
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil.
  • 150ml fino sherry or white wine.
  • A splash of water.
  • Sea salt and black pepper.

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 230C/450F/gas mark 8.
  2. Mix the garlic with the fennel seeds and run it over the flesh of the belly.
  3. Place on a large board (skin side up) and dry the skin thoroughly.
  4. Generously sprinkle with fine sea salt (about 1 tablespoon) all over the scored skin.
  5. Leave for half an hour, then dust off excess salt.
  6. Transfer the pork to a large roasting tin greased with the olive oil and place in the hot oven on the top shelf.
  7. It is important that the oven is really hot to start with, as this intense heat is required to blister the skin and turn it into crackling.
  8. Roast at this high heat for a good 30 minutes until hard crackling has formed, then turn the heat down to 190C/375F/gas mark 5.
  9. Transfer to a clean roasting tin.
  10. Continue cooking for another 2-2 hours until the meat is soft and tender.
  11. Remove from the oven, transfer to a chopping board and leave to rest for 15 minutes, loosely covered with the foil to keep warm.
  12. Meanwhile, make the gravy.
  13. Pour off any excess oil and place the roasting tray on the hob on a low to medium heat.
  14. Deglaze with sherry or white wine, scraping the juices off the bottom of the pan as you go.
  15. Simmer for a couple of minutes to reduce the alcohol, then taste for seasoning.
  16. If it tastes too strong, add a splash of water. Keep it hot.

To serve the pork we often take it off any ribs beforehand as it is easier to slice.

Courtesy of Sam and Sam Clark - Moro Restaurant.


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