This dish by Floris Smith, Executive Chef at Bushmans Kloof, takes hims back in time and brings back so many wonderful childhood memories of Sunday lunch with family. It was often big feature for Christmas lunch as well where we would devour the soft meat that melts in your mouth with the crisp crackling but I love it any time of year.
It is easy to create and doesn’t take much effort at all. I hope you enjoy cooking this dish as much as what he does!
OVEN ROASTED PORK BELLY
Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 2 hrs 30 minutes
Planning Ahead: Salt the pork belly one day ahead of cooking. Once the pork is in the oven and roasting, relax and enjoy the time with your family and friends.
• 1.5 kg Pork belly
• 300 g Coarse salt
• 1 Bunch fresh coriander, finely chopped
• Zest of 2 lemons
• Zest of 1 orange
• 1 Clove of garlic, finely chopped
• 1 Finger of ginger, finely chopped
• 2 Teaspoons whole coriander seeds, toasted and crushed
• 1 Teaspoon mustard seeds, toasted and crushed
• 500 g Duck fat
• 4 Large potatoes, washed, cut into wedges and blanched
• 1 Bunch baby carrots, peeled
• 1 Packet Broccolini
• 3 Fines of baby tomatoes
• 2 Sprigs thyme
• 2 Cloves garlic, sliced
• Salt and pepper
- The lovely thick layer of fat on this particular cut keeps the meat really moist as it roasts, and also gives you an incredible even layer of delicious crackling.
- Place your pork on a clean work surface, skin-side upwards. Get yourself a small sharp knife and make scores about a centimeter apart through the skin into the fat, but not so deep that you cut into the meat.
- In a small bowl, mix together the salt, coriander, garlic, ginger, zest and crushed coriander and mustard seeds. Rub salt mixture right into all the scores you’ve just made, pulling the skin apart a little if you have to. If you’re worried about scoring the crackling yourself, ask your butcher to do it for you.
- Cover and put in the fridge overnight or for + 8 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 135ºC.
- Rinse away the salt mixture and dry pork belly on kitchen towel.
- Place your pork, skin side-up, in a roasting tray big enough to hold the pork. Top the skin with the duck fat, season with salt and place in the oven.
- Roast for about 2 hours until the skin of the pork has started to puff up and you can see it turning into crackling. Take out of the oven and baste with the fat in the bottom of the tray. Carefully lift the pork up and transfer to a chopping board.
Turn the heat up to 180°C. Take out of the oven and baste with the fat in the bottom of the tray. Add all the vegetables, garlic and thyme to the tray and stir them into the fat and pop the tray back in the oven. Roast for another 20 minutes.
Take the tray out; put the meat back onto the vegetables. Put it back into the oven while you gather all your guests for 5-10 minutes to crisp up the crackling. By this time the meat should be meltingly soft and tender.
When everybody is seated, place the pork on the cutting board with the roast vegetables and serve with some apple or oriental jus, and a good glass of red wine, Floris’s choice… a bottle of Bouchard Finlayson Hannibal.