Slow-roasted pork belly with lavender nectarines
Serves 6 Preparation time 15 minutes Baking time 3-4 hours
• 1 deboned pork belly of 1,5kg • coarse sea salt • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil • 7 garlic cloves, crushed • ½ cup (125ml) fresh parsley • ½ cup (125ml) fresh fennel leaves • 12 sage leaves • 1 tablespoon (15ml) rosemary leaves • 1 tablespoon (15ml) thyme leaves • 1 tablespoon (15ml) fennel seeds • ½ teaspoon (2,5ml) chilli flakes • 1 large slice of ciabatta
FOR THE NECTARINES • 3 nectarines, halved • 6 tablespoons (90ml) brown sugar • 1 cup (250ml) dessert wine (such
as muscat, sherry or port) • 6 lavender sprigs
THIS IS HOW
Preheat the oven to 160ºC. Working on a wooden chopping board, use a small sharp knife to score the pork skin – take care not to slice through the fat into the meat. Rub the skin with coarse sea salt, then turn over the meat so that the skin side rests on the board.
Pulse the remaining ingredients finely in a food processor. Scoop the mixture onto the meat and rub it in – if there is too much, keep it aside to serve later with the cooked pork.
Now roll up the meat lengthwise to form a sturdy roll. Tie it securely at 2cm intervals with pieces of string. Place the pork belly, seam side down, in an oven dish and roast it for 3 hours. Remove the pork from the oven and reduce the temperature to 210ºC.
Arrange the nectarine halves around the pork, cut sides upwards. Sprinkle the sugar over the fruit and return the dish to the oven to roast until the pork skin is golden brown and crisp.
Remove the dish from the oven and pour the dessert wine around – not on top of – the nectarines and pork, and scatter the lavender sprigs over. The heat from the dish should cause the alcohol to evaporate immediately, leaving behind a sweet sauce. Slice and serve the meat. >