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Richards Roast Pork Belly

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Richard's Roast Pork BellyThis is a wonderful dish as the generous layer of fat keeps the meet moist as it roasts while providing a scrumptious layer of crisp, crunchy crackling. If you are concerned about scoring the skin yourself we will be more than happy to do it for you in the shop so please just ask, after all that's what we are here for.

31/2lb Pork Belly
2 Red Onions - halved
2 Carrots - halved lengthways
2 Sticks Celery - halved
1 Whole Bulb Garlic - broken into cloves but with the skin left on
Small bunch of fresh thyme with leaves picked
1 Pint Water or Stock
Salt
Pepper

 


Start by preheating your oven to 220 C, as it needs to be very hot to start with. Then place your pork belly on a clean surface with the skin side up and taking a sharp knife score the skin making sure that you don't cut into the meat. If you are at all unsure about doing this please ask someone in the shop.

Rub salt into the scores that you have just made, you may need to pull the skin apart slightly to get the salt in. Once you have done that turn over the pork and season the meat with salt  and pepper. Put your pork skin side up into a roasting that will be big enough to accommodate not only the pork but also the vegetables that will be added later, then place it into the hot oven.

Roast the pork for about 30 minutes until you see the skin start to puff up and turn to crackling, then you can turn down the oven to 180 C and roast for a further hour. Remove from the oven and bast with the juices that are in the bottom of the tray before setting the pork to one side. Place the vegetables, garlic and thyme in the tray and stir around so they all get a good covering of juices, place the pork on top and put back int the oven for for another hour.

The meat should now be perfectly tender and at the stage when it will melt in your mouth, so remove it carefully to one side, covering it in foil to rest.

While the pork is resting you can make the gravy. Pour off the fat from the roasting dish being careful to retain all the meat juices then add the water or stock and bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes stirring continuously to lift all the sticky bits from the bottom of the roasting tray. Once the gravy has turned nice and dark you can strain it into a gravy boat, making sure you get all the goodness and lovely juice from the veggies.

Serve with the vegetables and potatoes of you choice, but in my opinion you cant beat some freshly steamed spring cabbage and fluffy mash.