Cooking for friends series 01 | Crowd pleasing pork belly video recipe
Ever wondered how to get that pork belly crackling really crispy? In the first blog post of our cooking for friends series we show you how to slow roast belly pork to yield succulent meat and really crispy crackling. A relatively cheap cut of meat and not your traditional choice for a roast; this is a great recipe for livening up your Sunday lunch or impressing friends with at a dinner party.
The juices from the meat, roasted in lemongrass, soy, chilli, garlic and coca cola (yes that’s right, the iconic fizzy drink) creates delicious tangy (or sticky?) gravy. The fresh Asian coleslaw, simply made with a lime, coriander and sesame dressing, perfectly complements the pork. For such a big punch, this really is quite an easy dish to put together and requires little fussing over components. For a more filling meal, add an extra side dish of a flavoured rice, such as smokey earl grey tea rice.
See the full recipe below and don’t forget to keep an eye out for future posts in the series. We’ll be sharing tips and secrets on unusual wine pairings, at-home tasting menus and exciting canapés and palate cleansers.
Recipe (serves 6)
1200g Boned pork belly, skin on & scored
1 tbsp Maldon salt
3 tbsp Soy sauce
2 tbsp Sesame oil
1 bulb garlic, cut in half through it’s circumference.
1 chunk Ginger, fresh, cut into slices
3 red birds eye chillis, cut in half
3 sticks lemon grass, trimmed & bruised with the handle of a knife
1 can of cola!
1 small red onion, finely sliced
1 yellow pepper, finely sliced
1 red pepper, finely sliced
2 large handfuls mange tout, finely sliced
1 large carrot, julienned
¼ small red cabbage, shredded (2 large handfuls in total)
Fresh coriander to garnish
Place pork belly, skin-side up, on a wire rack over the sink. Pour over boiling water to scald the pork skin – this will help the skin crisp up into crunchy crackling. Pat pork dry and then score skin in a pattern with lines about 1cm apart – do not cut into flesh.
Place the pork into a roasting tin and then add the garlic, lemon grass chilli & ginger. Pour round the soy sauce, cola water and then cover with tin foil.
Place it in a 160C oven and cook for about 2.5 hours – the meat should be very tender. Drain off the liquid, retaining it for use in the sauce and remove the spices & garlic.
Once cooled a little, cut the pork into portions and then lay the pork on a rack or a double layer of tinfoil in a roasting tin. Rub skin with sesame oil and sprinkle with plenty of salt.
Heat oven to its maximum setting and roast the pork for about 30 minutes.
While the pork is in the oven, transfer the braising liquid to a saucepan and reduce it until it is syrupy.
Mix the vegetables for the coleslaw in a large bowl and dress with the lime juice, sesame oil and season with a little salt. Garnish with some fresh coriander.
Once the pork is cooked to your liking, take it out of the oven and leave it to rest on a board for at least 10 mins and then cut it into strips about 1-1.5 cms thick.