Pork Belly is one of the most revered cuts around the world, extremely popular in Hispanic, Chinese, Danish and Korean cooking.
It ticks all the boxes you could ask for when it comes to meat. With its crisp, crunchy skin and tender meat that melts in the mouth.
Treat it correctly and it will be one of the best meals you can have. The fact that it’s also incredibly versatile and affordable just adds to its charm.
Pork Belly is from the belly of the pig – this means it has a very high fat content, which gives the meat a lot of flavour, typically 50/50 meat/fat ratio.
Traditionally pork belly excels with slow-cooking methods – this allows the fat to render into the meat over time, leaving the resulting flesh moist and tender.
Parson’s Nose free range pigs come direct from the farmer in the South Downs and are all Duroc / Hampshire crosses.
2kg pork belly (bone removed)
1. Ask your Parson’s Nose butcher to remove the bones from the belly joint.
2. Score the pork skin with a sharp knife, lines or criss-cross always looks good.
3. Boil a kettle and pour boiling water over the skin to open out the scoring.
4. Immediately pour cold water over the skin to stop any cooking.
5. Pat the belly joint dry with kitchen towel and sprinkle some salt over the skin.
6. Leave the pork uncovered in the fridge overnight to pull excess moisture out of the skin.
7. Rinse the excess salt off the belly joint. Pat the belly joint again with kitchen roll and make sure that it is completely dry.
8. Preheat the oven to (240°C/475°F/gas 9).
9. Place the bay leaves in a pestle and mortar with the sea salt and bash until it is a fine powder.
10. Rub the salt and bay leaf all over the pork, massaging it into all the scoring.
11. Cut the onions in half and place in the roasting tray (flat side facing up)
12. Lay the pork directly over the onions, then roast for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crackling is golden and super crunchy.
13. Reduce the temperature to (150°C/300°F/gas 2) and cook for a further 2 to 4 hours – after 2 hours, the meat will be soft and easy to carve, after 4 hours, the meat will be soft enough to ‘pull’.
14. Leave to rest for 15 minutes before serving