Pork, to me, is one of those ‘blah’ meats. I’ve never had a piece of pork that’s made me exclaim how delicious it is – instead of pork fillet, it’s the cheaper cuts that deliver on flavour and of course there’s no denying the thrall of a bacon sandwich.
I do like pork belly however – with crunchy crackling and plenty of fat to keep the meat flavoursome and tender, it has won me over. I’ve tried a few methods of getting a tender piece of pork, with proper crackling and Jamie Oliver’s is the best I’ve tried so far (as is his roast beef recipe – apparently Jamie can do a good sunday lunch!).
Oven timings based on a 1.5kg piece of pork belly.
Preheat your oven to 220c/200c fan/gas 7. Score the pork skin and fat, then rub with half a lemon. Season the skin and meat with salt, pepper, nutmeg and thyme.
Roast the pork for 30 minutes, until the skin puffs and starts to turn into crackling. Reduce heat to 180c and roast for another hour.
Take the pork out of the oven, baste with juices and place on a board. Add 2 halved lemons, 1 bulb of garlic broken down into cloves, skin on, 2 sticks of celery, 2 halved red onions, and two chopped carrots to the oven dish. Place the pork on top and cook for another hour, or until tender. Lift out the pork, cover and let it rest before serving.
I served mine with carrots cooked in orange juice with mustard seeds, crushed potatoes with peas, homemade apple sauce and gravy made with the juices of the pork and crushed veg from the roasting tray. Delicious – and a great way to jazz up a cheap cut of meat!