And to think that Fidget was prepared to go all the way to China for this dish…
Chinese Roast Pork Belly with Mega Crackling
Fear not, the finger-licking delicacy was concocted much closer to home in the rather less than exotic cartoon kitchen. Based on a Paul Rankin recipe for the Guild of Butchers, it is the perfect treat for Chinese New Year, which happens to fall this very weekend.
Simple ingredients: 500g boneless pork belly with the rind on, 4 tsp sea salt, ½ tsp sugar, ¼ tsp white pepper, 2 tsp white wine vinegar. We served it with steamed jasmine rice and stir-fry vegetables (a medley of green beans, tender-stem broccoli and pak choi).
Prepare the pork belly the night before: bring to the boil 1cm water and 1 tsp of the white vinegar in a pan sufficiently large to accommodate the pork belly laid flat. When boiling, put the pork skin-side down for 30 seconds, then remove and pat dry.
Season the meat side with 1 tsp salt, the sugar and the pepper. Turn the pork over and, with a sharp knife, pierce the skin repeatedly all over. Rub in the remaining salt and then the rest of the vinegar. Place on a tray or container and leave in the fridge uncovered overnight.
One hour before you are ready to roast, remove the pork belly from the fridge and pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Set the pork skin-side up on a rack on top of a roasting tray and roast for 30min – to increase the heat coming from above you can choose the grill/fan combination if your oven allows, or simply move the tray to the highest part of the oven. Roast for a further 10–15min at 275°C until the skin blisters beautifully all over.
Allow to rest for 10min before carving in 1/2cm slices. Serve alongside the steamed rice and the stir-fried vegetables, with some soy sauce for dipping. Happy days!
Happy Chinese New Year! It’s the Year of the Rooster. Those born in the Year of the Rooster are supposed to be trustworthy, energetic, determined, brave, perseverant and smart. Well, Fidget, apart from the perseverance (it’s amazing how many times you can circle around an almost-ready plate of good food…), we can say quite confidently that you are not a Rooster!