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Roasted Pork Belly

Our pork belly recipe is deliciously crunchy and moist. The meat is scored, covered in a reasonable amount of salt, and then baked. If it doesn't crisp, simply return to the oven under a grill, watching the skin until it reaches crackling perfection. The salt helps dry out the crust, as does the hot oven.

What is pork belly?

As the name implies, pork belly is the fatty stomach of a pig. It can be cut with the bone in or out, has a thick layer of fat on top and layers of fat marbled through the flesh. At Meatsmith, we offer a rare-breed, free-range pork belly from Glen Eyrie Farm and Beachport Berkshires.

How to cook pork belly?

The trick to cooking pork belly in the oven is slow and gentle combined with a burst of heat for crisp crackling. Many recipes advise to begin cooking the belly at a lower temperature of 160°C fan forced, followed by a higher oven temperature of 200C fan forced to get the pork skin crackling.

How to score pork belly?

For ultra crispy skin, it’s important to score the meat before cooking. The trick is to score the fat while it’s cold with a sharp knife or stanley knife. Cut horizontal or diagonal lines about 1cm apart through the skin and fat but not into the meat. This is important as cutting into the flesh of the pork belly can result in a dry roast without crisp crackling. Our butchers can score any cut of pork as necessary

How to prepare pork belly?

The best thing to do when cooking pork belly is to ensure the skin is as dry as possible. Ideally, it is necessary to leave the pork uncovered in the fridge for at least four hours or overnight to dry out. Once removed from the fridge, use some paper towels and pat the meat down. Just before cooking the meat, season it well with salt which will add flavour but also helps to draw out any remaining moisture.

Crispy Pork Belly Recipe

SERVES 2-4

Ingredients

1.2kg piece pork belly

4 tbsp fine salt

Method

Using the tip of a sharp, thin knife or a metal skewer, prick holes all over the skin of the pork belly. Sprinkle the salt all over the skin in an even layer.

Preheat your oven to 240°C.

Place the pork, skin side up, on a rack in a roasting tray. Pour cold water into the tray to a depth of about 2 centimeters, but making sure it's not touching the belly.

Roast the pork for 30-40 minutes then reduce to 180°C and cook for a further hour.

Remove the pork from the oven and brush off the salt crust that will have formed.

Let the pork rest for 15 minutes before slicing.

What to serve with pork belly recipe?

The pork belly would also be terrific served with a little bit of wilted cabbage and apple, and a little mustard on the side. Better still, when left after roasting to cool, it is perfect in a roll with raw onion and apple sauce.

IMAGE CREDIT: Earl Carter for The Saturday Paper