If I’m ever wanting to impress at a dinner party with my mad cooking skillz, my go-to recipe would have to be Crispy Slow Cooked Pork Belly.
Its so easy to prepare and cook, and the taste will leave your friends thinking you were slaving over the stove all day like some kinda bored ninja master chef.
The skin is so crispy, salty and delicious. The meat is so juicy, tender and falls apart in the mouth.
It’s best served with roasted root veggies, steamed greens and sweet potato mash in winter, or a fresh apple, fennel and walnut salad in summer.
Another thing I love about this recipe are the pulled pork buns you can make if you have any leftover meat (pffft what’s that?). Shred the meat, put it on a bun, slap on some slaw and voila.
Please don’t be turned off or disheartened by how long this recipe seems. It really is SO easy to prep and cook, and you certainly won’t be disappointed by the taste… It’s so good you’ll probably have a foodgasm.
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 3 hours
Feeds: 4 adults
1.2kg pork belly, skin on
Good quality olive oil (I use Cobram Estate)
Sea salt flakes / pink Himalayan salt flakes
1/4 cup natural honey
2 tablespoons of butter/margarine
2 medium sweet potatoes, chopped
4 Carrots, thickly sliced
4 whole beetroots, washed and quartered (no stems)
2 bunches of broccolini, washed
Pre-heat the oven to 140 degrees (fan forced).
Place the quartered beets in the centre of separate pieces of aluminium foil, spoon some honey over the top, sprinkle with salt, wrap in the foil and put them to the side. Place in the oven at the same time the pork goes in.
Thoroughly dry pork belly skin with paper towel until you can no longer see moisture. If the skin is not already scored, score it to create parallel lines (I like parallel lines as I serve my pork in thick strips and it’s easier to cut through the crackling this way.) Drizzle a little olive oil over the skin, sprinkle with a good pinch of salt and rub thoroughly. Place the pork belly onto a piece of aluminium foil, fold up the edges to cover the meat leaving the skin exposed, place in the oven.
Cook the pork belly on 140 degrees fan forced for 2 hours. At the 2 hour mark spin the pan 180 degrees to ensure even cooking of the skin and turn up the heat of the oven to 160 degrees for a further 1 hour (Do not turn the meat over, always leave the skin exposed). Total cooking time of the pork belly is 3 hours – Low n slow baby.
Put your feet up for a while and drink some wine.
In the final 20 minutes waiting for the most delicious pork belly you have ever tasted to finish cooking, boil a pot of water and put in the chopped sweet potatoes. Place a steamer over the top and add the carrots. When you have 5 minutes left, put the broccolini in the steamer with the carrots – It’s important to only steam broccolini for 5-8 minutes or it will overcook and become soggy, bitter and horrible. When cooked perfectly it should be bright green with a slight crunch.
When the broccolini is ready, take the steamer off the potato pot and put to the side with the lid on to keep the heat in and the veggies warm.
Take the amazing pork belly out of the oven, remove from the foil and place on a chopping board to rest for about 10 minutes, this allows the juices to seal into the meat.
Drain the water from the potatoes, add the butter / margarine and mash.
Take the beets out of the oven and use an oven mitt and a pair of tongs to unwrap them, being careful of steam burn.
Slice up the pork belly.
Plate up the pork belly with the beets, veggies and mash.
*Always ensure the pork you are buying is sow stall free.
** Environmental Tip; Help cut down on land fill and put veggie peels and off-cuts in the green waste bin not general rubbish. Or why not think about starting your own compost bin for the garden?