Masterchef recipe perfect pork belly
Crackle crusts delicious dining experience
Pork Belly seems to be a bit of a favourite to all those I meet from Central Otago and Southland.
I am not sure if it is the abundance of amazing foodies in the South, the quality meat produced by the Southland farmers, or if we are all just a little indulgent when it comes to enjoying good food!
The recipe below is something I cooked on Masterchef, where Josh Emett called it one of the best pork bellies he had ever eaten.
It takes a bit of love to get the perfect ‘‘crackle’’, but once that is achieved, you can sit back and relax while the pork does its thing.
The flavours will develop, resulting in meat that is moist and delicious.
Depending on what you accompany this dish with, it can be served all year round. I believe every household needs a pork belly in its freezer.
It can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion and always a hit with guests.
1kg pork belly 1 tsp fennel seeds tsp cumin seeds tsp caraway seeds 2 tsp Marlborough sea salt 2 onions thickly sliced to place under the pork Olive oil 1L milk 3 whole star anise
1 pack of rocket 1 apple 1 handful Italian parsley 1 tbl chardonnay vinegar 3 tbl olive oil
600ml chicken or vegetable stock 150g butter 1 stick of thyme 2 cloves of garlic Homemade quince jelly
1. Toast the spices in a pan then grind them with the sea salt in a pestle and mortar.
2. Massage olive oil in the pork skin, then massage on spice mix.
3. Cook on about 230C for 20-30 minutes until you can see the crackling appear. You may have to reposition the pork from time to time to ensure even crackle dispersion.
4. Reduce the heat in the oven to 160C and pour enough milk into the roasting dish to cover about two thirds of the way up the pork belly. Add whole star anise here too.
5. Cook for a further 90-100 mins at this low heat.
6. Meanwhile, peel your potatoes and cut into similar sized barrel shapes with flat top and bottoms. I believe waxy potatoes produce the most flavoursome version of these.
7. Melt 150g of butter over a moderate heat, and add the potatoes. Brown both sides of the potatoes for 5-6 mins. Ensure the butter does not burn.
8. Add enough stock to the pan to cover at least one third of the potato. Put on the slightly smashed garlic and thyme. Place a lid on the pan, or place in the over covered with foil and cook for further 10-15 mins or until soft when pierced.
9. Mix together the simple salad. Julienne the apple, roughly chop the parley and place all in a bowl with the rocket. Pour over the combined chardonnay and olive oil dressing.
10. Chop the pork into bite sized pieces. It’s sometimes easier to turn the pork upside down and slice from the meat side. Plate these up along with the tasty fondant potatoes that have absorbed all the delicious stock, the salad and give your self a large dollop of homemade quince jelly.
This is a delicious replacement for the more traditional apple sauce.
Tempting treat: Fennel, Caraway and Cumin Pork Belly .