— 25g curry powder
— 40g chilli powder
— 30g smoked paprika
— 80g soft dark-brown sugar — 40g flaked sea salt
— 35g caster sugar
— 20g garlic granules or
— 10g ground cumin
— ¼ tsp ground fennel seeds — 1 tsp cayenne pepper
Blitz all the ingredients together in a food processor or spice grinder, to a fine powder, then transfer to an airtight container and store for up to two weeks.
Honeyed barbecue pork belly with pineapple salsa
This recipe uses a combination of techniques, slow-braising the belly until it’s meltingly tender and then finishing it on the grill. It needs to be started two days before you’re having your barbecue.
For the brine
— 600g table salt — 400g caster sugar — 1 x 4-4.5kg pork belly,
For the pork belly
— 200g pork rub (see above) — 4-5 Turkish chilli peppers — 2 large onions, sliced into
2cm rounds — 150ml runny honey — 100ml white wine
— 2 dried bay leaves
— 3 tbsp harissa
— ½ bunch of thyme sprigs
For the pineapple salsa
— 1 pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into wedges or slices
— olive oil
— 100g sugar
— 80ml cider vinegar
— 2 tbsp orange juice
— 1 star anise
— 1 cinnamon stick
— 1 tsp cayenne pepper — 1½ tsp ground cumin — 4-5 spring onions, green
parts only, chopped
— 2 tbsp roughly chopped
In a container large enough to hold the pork belly (a saucepan works well), add the salt to 500ml of just-boiled water and stir to dissolve, forming a sludgelike consistency. Top up with eight litres of tap water, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Submerge the pork belly in the brine and leave in the fridge overnight.
The next day, preheat the oven to 130C/gas mark ¾.
Remove the pork belly from the brine and pat dry. Score both sides of the belly with a sharp knife in a crosshatch pattern, up to ½cm deep. Generously massage the pork all over with the rub.
Scatter the chilli peppers in a roasting tray or casserole dish large enough to accommodate the pork belly, and lay the onion slices as a bed upon which the pork will sit. Transfer the pork, skin-side down, to on top of the onion and drizzle half the honey directly over it and the remaining half into the tray or dish. Add 300ml water and the white wine, followed by the bay leaves, harissa and thyme.
Cover tightly with a double layer of tinfoil, making sure to crimp the foil along the edges of the tray or dish. Transfer to the oven and cook for two hours, basting periodically with the juices, before turning the pork over to cook for a further three hours, until tender and all but pulling apart with the lightest of pressure.
Once cooked, carefully lift the pork from the tray or dish and transfer it to rest on a cooling rack. Strain the cooking liquor through a fine sieve into a heavy-based saucepan. Place the pan over a high heat and simmer to reduce to a sauce with a glaze-like consistency – thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Cool and refrigerate.
Wrap the pork in cling film before returning it to the cooling rack, set over a shallow tray, pressed with a heavy weight, overnight in the fridge. I use a roasting tray filled with water as a press, but heavy tins should also work just fine.
The next day, take the pork belly out of the fridge and allow it to come back to room temperature. Set up a barbecue for single-zone direct grilling (see box) over a medium-high heat.
Roll the pineapple in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the pineapple directly over hot embers, until well charred all over. Remove from the grill and hack into rough pieces.
Combine the sugar, vinegar and orange juice in a small saucepan and place over a medium-high heat to dissolve the sugar. Add the star anise, cinnamon stick, cayenne pepper and ground cumin as well as the pineapple chunks, and continue to cook over a low heat for 12-15 minutes, until the liquid has thickened. The salsa should be quite dry. Season with salt to taste and leave to cool a little. Fold the spring-onion greens and coriander through the mixture once it is nearly cool.
Slice the pork into 2.5cmthick slabs. Reheat the glaze. Grill the pork-belly slices on both sides, brushing continually and generously with the glaze until well charred and warmed through.
Serve the pork with the pineapple salsa.
Charred carrots with spiced nuts and lime yogurt
For the lime yogurt
— 100g full-fat natural yogurt — grated zest of 1 lime, plus
juice of ½
— 1½ tbsp extra-virgin
For the spiced nuts — ½ tbsp coriander seeds — ¼ tbsp fennel seeds
— 1 star anise
— ¼ tbsp ground cinnamon — pinch of ground nutmeg — 20g walnuts, toasted — 20g almonds, toasted
— 5g pumpkin seeds, toasted —oliveoil