When belly of pork is slowly roasted like this, it produces fantastic, crisp crackling and succulent, tender meat.
Slow-roast belly of pork
½ x 15g pack fresh sage, stalks discarded
½ x 15g pack fresh rosemary, stalks discarded
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
Grated zest and juice of 1 unwaxed lemon
500-600g British pork belly joint, from the meat service counter
Salt, for rubbing (optional)
- Preheat the oven 220C, gas mark 7. Roughly chop the sage and rosemary then, using a pestle and mortar, grind with the garlic, lemon zest and juice, and seasoning to make a thick paste.
- Cut the string off the pork and unroll the meat so that it is flat.
- With a sharp knife, make incisions into the flesh before rubbing the paste into the incisions and over the flesh, taking care to avoid the skin. Transfer to a roasting tray and, ideally, sit it on a rack. Using a piece of kitchen paper, thoroughly dry the skin and season with a little salt – this is optional, but helps make crisper crackling.
- Roast for 20 minutes then reduce the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3 for a further 2 hours until the pork is thoroughly cooked and the juices run clear. Leave to rest for 5 minutes then cut into chunks, and serve with steamed purple-sprouting broccoli and apple sauce.
- Preparation time: 5 minutes
- Cooking time: 135 minutes to 150 minutes
- Total time: 2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 35 minutes
Typical values per serving:
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This recipe was first published in January 2009.