Pork belly is one of my favourite things to order when eating out but I have always been a bit intimidated by cooking it because when it’s right, it’s so good but when it’s wrong it’s utterly awful. I guess it has the some issue that many cheaper cuts of meat have – it needs a little TLC. When I spotted this recipe on BBC Good Food, I couldn’t resist trying it out (with a few modifications) and I can gladly say it was absolutely delicious. This makes a great Sunday roast for guests just make sure to start at least 3 1/2 hours before you want to eat. I served the pork belly with mashed butternut and baked potato squares.
Slow-cooked sticky pork belly
1.2kg pork belly
1 teaspoon sunflower oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 de-seeded red chilli finely chopped
2 tablespoon honey
3 medium onions, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven t0 180 C (160 C for a fan oven). Use a sharp knife to score the skin of the pork belly in a criss-cross pattern. This will help to ensure crispy crackling. Spread the sunflower oil over the skin. Grind some black pepper over the top and then generously sprinkle over with coarse salt. Place the pork belly on a rack in a roasting tray skin side up. Bake for one hour.
Remove the pork belly from the oven and baste with its own cooking juices. Return to the oven for a further hour and a half, basting every half an hour.
Mix together the honey, cumin seeds and chilli. Remove the pork belly from the oven and turn it up to 200 C (180 C for a fan oven). Spread the honey mixture over the skin of the pork belly. Return to the oven and bake for 20 more minutes. Baste the pork belly and then slide the onions into the roasting tray underneath it. Put back in the oven for another 20 minutes. Make sure you keep an eye on it because the crackling turns dark really quickly.
Allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes before carving and serving with the onions.
Serves 4 – 6
Things I have been cooking lately #60: Slow-cooked sticky pork belly