Caramelised pork belly is a barbecue must. Simmer the pork and prepare your glaze in advance – then it’s just a matter of building up a thick, toffee-like coating over the hot coals. Serve with a sharp, vinegary slaw on the side.
Sticky toffee pork
- Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus salting and resting
- Cooking time: 2 hours 20 minutes
20g sea salt flakes, plus extra for sprinkling
1kg piece pork belly, skin scored in a criss-cross pattern
2 litres fresh chicken stock
1⁄2 tsp Chinese five spice
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
1⁄2 tsp yellow mustard seeds
1⁄2 tsp fennel seeds
1⁄2 tsp whole black peppercorns
100ml light soy sauce
100g pitted dates, roughly chopped
100g light brown muscovado sugar
100g dark brown muscovado sugar
1 Rub the sea salt all over the pork belly and set aside, uncovered, for 1 hour. Rinse off the salt and then put the meat in a large pan with the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil, then turn down to simmer; put a small plate on top of the pork belly to keep it submerged. Simmer very gently for about 2 hours, until you can easily push a skewer through the meat.
2 Carefully lift out the pork belly onto a tray. Strain the cooking liquor into a clean pan, then reduce rapidly until it has the consistency of a light syrup.
3 Using a pastry brush, paint the glaze over one side of the pork and lay it, glazed-side down, over the medium-hot part of the barbecue. Paint more glaze on the other side and around the ends. When the side that’s cooking is blistered and charred, turn and brush with more glaze. Repeat the brushing and turning until nearly all the glaze has been used up – about 20 minutes – occasionally giving the pork a light sprinkle of salt.
4 By the time the pork is ready, it should have built up a sticky and charred crust. Transfer to a platter, brush with any remaining glaze and shred to serve.