Ingredients for slow roasted pork belly2.5kg pork belly
200g of table salt
six star anise (crushed)
one tbsp of smoked paprika
two tbsp of fennel seeds
six bay leaves
30 ml rum
two heads of cavolo nero
good quality demi-glace
six medium Maris Piper potatoes
one tbsp olive oil
200g unsalted butter
four large garlic cloves (bashed)
two sprigs rosemary
two sprigs thyme
200ml chicken or vegetable stock
Pork belly method
Score the skin of the pork belly as finely as possible to just cut through the surface into the fat, taking care not to go too deep with the blade. Place the salt, star anise, paprika, fennel seed, five spice and bay leaves in a tub big enough to hold the belly. Add water to cover the meat, whisk to dissolve the salt then add the pork belly skin-side down. Place the tub in the fridge to brine for 24-36 hours. Once ready to roast, preheat the oven to 150C.
Take the belly out of the brine or marinade, rinse under cold water and pat dry. Arrange the onions in the roasting tin and top with the pork belly with the skin facing up. Add 200ml of water to the bottom of the dish and roast for 3.5 hours.
The timing will depend on how thick the belly is, so test the meat to check if it is cooked - push a fork into the flesh, it should be nice and tender and come away easily.
Pineapple and Chilli Salsa method
Finely dice the pineapple and add to the pan and slow cook to evaporate the juices out of the pineapple, then add chilli and shallot, cook until soft. Deglaze the pan with lime and rum. We also make a puree from the salsa by blending half the salsa and a bit of warm water if needed to loosen the mix.
Slice the ends off the potatoes so they lay flat on either side. Heat the oil in a pan over a medium-low heat. When hot, add the potatoes cut-side down. Fry until deep golden brown, then flip and fry on the other side. Add the butter to the pan to melt. Scatter the garlic and herbs around the potatoes and season well. Pour the stock around the potatoes, being aware of any hot butter that may splash out. Cover and simmer gently for 25-30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, then serve.
Cut six portions from the pork belly and swipe puree across middle of plate. Add the pork belly off centre and place potato next to the belly. Add cooked cavolo nero in between pork belly and fondant then three small quenelles of our salsa and finish with a good quality demi-glace or gravy spiked with five spice.
More info: essexcaterers.co.uk