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    Slow-Roasted Pork Belly With Fennel Seeds And Lentils

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    Slow-Roasted Pork Belly With Fennel Seeds And Lentils

    This slow-roasted belly of pork is well worth the wait and would make a great dish to serve for Sunday lunch. The long, gradual cooking keeps the meat beautifully moist and succulent, while the cooking juices give the lentils and vegetables lots of robust flavour.

    • Preparation time: 10 minutes
    • Cooking time: 200 minutes
    • Total time: 3 hours 30 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 60 minutes 30 minutes

    Serves: 4


    • 1-1.5kg Waitrose Free Range Hampshire Breed British Pork Belly Joint, from the meat service counter
    • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
    • 1 tsp Maldon Sea Salt
    • 4 sticks celery, diagonally sliced
    • 2 large red onions, cut into thin wedges
    • 4 cloves garlic, unpeeled
    • ½ x 15g pack fresh thyme
    • 75cl bottle red wine
    • 175g Waitrose Wholesome Lentils


    1. Preheat the oven to 250°C, gas mark 9. Snip the string from around the pork belly and unroll it. Dry the meat thoroughly with kitchen paper. In a pestle and mortar, crush the fennel seeds with the salt until they form a fine powder. Rub this over both sides of the pork, pushing it deeply into the scored fat.
    2. Place the celery, onion wedges, garlic and thyme in a roasting tin a little bigger than the pork. Put the pork, skin side up, on top, making sure that the vegetables are completely covered by the pork, otherwise they will burn.
    3. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150°C, gas mark 2 and cook for a further 2 hours. Remove the tin from the oven, then spoon off and discard any fat, leaving the meat juices in the tin. Stir in the wine and lentils around the pork, being careful not to splash the crackling.
    4. Return the tin to the oven and increase the heat to 170°C, gas mark 3. Cook for a further hour, stirring the lentils twice during that time. Remove from the oven and leave to rest in the tin for 5 minutes.
    5. Lift the meat onto a board and, using a large heavy knife, cut into quarters. Remove the thyme stalks and discard. Season the lentils to taste. Return the pork to the tin and serve, along with plenty of green vegetables and a dollop of English mustard.

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    Cook's tips

    If you’re a real crackling fan, use a very sharp knife or a clean Stanley knife to make more scored cuts in the fat before rubbing with the fennel salt. This will help to make it even more crisp and crunchy.
    Some meat left over? The pork is wonderful cold in sandwiches and salads.


    Average user rating

    4 stars