Recipe for Crispy Pork Belly with a soy and ginger sauce. Serve with Cauliflower Puree or Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients
2kg boneless pork belly
oil, for brushing the roasting tray
15 ml salt flakes

For the sauce:
125 ml soy sauce
juice & 3 strips peeled rind of 1 large orange
45 ml soft brown sugar (like demerara/muscavado)
1 cup mutton/chicken stock
2 tablespoons (30 ml) finely grated ginger
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole star anise
6 cardamom pods

How to
Preheat the oven to 230 C.

Brush a medium size roasting tin (just bigger than the belly roast) with oil and place the belly inside, skin side up. Salt the skin side generously. Roast the belly uncovered in the top half of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the skin side has puffed up and is golden brown (not too dark, as it still needs to spend a few hours in the oven.)

While the skin side is roasting, prepare the sauce: mix all the ingredients for the sauce together in a jug and set aside.

When the skin side of the belly is puffed up and golden, remove it from the oven and turn the temperature down to 160 C. The belly would have shrunken a bit from the sides, but would have thickened in height, because of the heat. Pour the sauce all around the belly, taking care not to cover the crispy skin (if the sauce is too much, leave some for topping up the roasting dish later – it will evaporate quite a bit). Return the dish to the oven and continue to roast at 160 C for another 3 hours until the belly is very tender.

Remove the belly from the oven and leave to stand for about 10 minutes. Transfer the belly carefully to a cutting board and slice into portions with a sharp long-bladed serrated knife. Pour the pan juices into a small sauce jug.

Serve the belly with mashed potatoes or cauliflower puree, crisp pan-fried / steamed greens and a drizzle of pan sauce.

Top 3 tips for a really crunchy layer of crackling:
Pat the skin side of the belly dry with kitchen paper, then leave the belly uncovered in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) to dry out.*

Score the belly with an NT cutter (it’s quite a heavy job, so ask your butcher to score it for you if you’re not sure about it) and salt it generously with salt flakes before roasting. Oil is not necessary, but you can brush it with a thin layer if you want to.

Always start on high heat (230 C) for about 30 minutes on a rack in the top half of the oven to crisp/puff up the crackling layer, then turn down the heat to cook the belly until it is tender. See more directions below for cooking.

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Recipe courtesy of The Food Fox. Visit the blog for more delicious recipes. Recipe copyright – Ilse van der Merwe.