Belly pork is all the rage these days, partly because it's cheap, easy to cook, and you really have to go some to screw it up. However, it can be a bit fatty, which can put many people off. One of the best ways is to make sure the skin is crisp. Here is a succulent recipe with a sharp relish/mayo to cut the richness.
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp ground black pepper
- 1 kg belly pork, boned and skin on
- 8 cloves garlic really crushed well
- a few sprigs fresh thyme
- 800 ml sunflower oil, approx.
- 8 tbsp mayonnaise, heaped
- 6 large gherkins, finely chopped
- 3 large shallots, very finely chopped
- 2 tsp English mustard
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley
- squeeze lemon juices
- ground pepper
- Rub the salt, sugar and pepper over the pork, and add the crushed garlic and thyme.
- After rubbing the belly pork, leave it at room temperature for 20-30 minutes if possible.
- Heat the oven to 160°C, Gas 3.
- Wash the salt and thyme off, then place into a small deep baking tray, just big enough to fit the pork; the tighter the fit, the less oil you need.
- Gently heat the oil (100C) and pour it carefully over the pork so it's submerged.
- Cover and place the tray carefully into the oven to cook for about 2 hours or until a knife can pass through easily. The meat should be very soft, almost difficult to pick up, but not stringy and overcooked
- Carefully remove the tray from the oven and cool for 15 minutes.
- Lift out the cooked pork, place it onto a flat tray skin side down and cover with cling film. Press with another tray and chill really well.
- When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 220°C gas 7.
- Cut the pork into 4 perfect squares, and trim off any ragged edges.
- Place skin side down into a hot, dry non-stick ovenproof frying pan and cook until the skin begins to crackle.
- Transfer to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until heated through.
- Meanwhile, place the mayo, gherkins, shallots, mustard and parsley together in a bowl and really mix well.
- Add lemon juice and plenty of ground black pepper.
- Serve the pork, crispy side up, with some wilted spinach, mashed potatoes and a good spoon of mayo on top.
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