CRISPY ROAST PORK BELLY WITH JA­PANESE PICKLES

Cuisine - - GUEST CHEF -

SERVES 4-6

FOR THE PICKLES

200ml rice wine vine­gar 100g su­gar ¼ tele­graph cu­cum­ber (or 1 small cu­cum­ber), thinly sliced ¼ small daikon, peeled, thinly sliced 1 shal­lot, thinly sliced (I used red shal­lot) black se­same seeds to gar­nish (op­tional)

Com­bine the vine­gar, su­gar, cu­cum­ber, daikon and shal­lot in a seal­able plas­tic bag and seal, squeez­ing out the air. Re­frig­er­ate for 2 days be­fore us­ing, gar­nished with black se­same seeds, if de­sired.

FOR THE SEA­SON­ING

½ tea­spoon sea salt ½ ta­ble­spoon brown su­gar 1 ta­ble­spoon five spice pow­der

Mix the in­gre­di­ents to­gether and set aside.

FOR THE PORK

1kg pork belly 5cm piece gin­ger, peeled, thinly sliced 3 spring onions, cut into 5cm slices 6 kaf­fir lime leaves, plus ex­tra to gar­nish if de­sired 2 tea­spoons white wine vine­gar 300g coarse sea salt whole­grain mus­tard to serve

Wash the pork belly care­fully and put in a large saucepan. Cover with wa­ter and add the gin­ger, spring onions and kaf­fir lime leaves.

Bring to the boil then sim­mer for 30 min­utes or un­til the juice runs clear when a skewer is in­serted in the pork belly. Re­move from the heat, drain and rinse un­der cold run­ning wa­ter. Drain on pa­per tow­els.

Use a skewer to prick holes all over the skin of the pork. Turn over to the flesh side, sprin­kle over the sea­son­ing and rub in.

Put the pork into a con­tainer, skin side up, and dab the skin dry with pa­per tow­els. Re­frig­er­ate, un­cov­ered, for 24 hours.

Pre­heat the oven to 180°C. Re­move the pork belly from the fridge and put it on a large sheet of foil. Fold the sides of the foil up around the pork to en­close it snugly.

Trans­fer the foil-en­closed pork to a bak­ing tray and dab the skin with pa­per tow­els, then brush with the vine­gar. Spread the sea salt over the skin (the foil edges will stop it from fall­ing down the sides). Put in the oven to roast for 1 hour, then re­move from the oven.

Switch the oven to grill and medium-high heat. Move the shelf so it’s at least 25cm from the grill.

Fold down the foil and scrape all the salt off the top and sides of the pork. Re­turn the pork, with­out the foil, to the bak­ing tray.

Put the pork back in the oven un­der the grill for 20-25 min­utes, ro­tat­ing the tray once, un­til the skin is golden, crispy and puffed.

Slice the pork and serve with the pickles and some whole­grain mus­tard, sur­rounded by kaf­fir lime leaves for dec­o­ra­tion, if de­sired.

WINE A dark, juicy pinot noir, such as the Akarua Pinot Noir 2015.

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