Slow roast pork belly
Using a very sharp knife, score the skin of a 2.5kg piece of pork belly as finely as you can, being careful not to cut into the flesh too much. (Ask our Provenance Village Butcher Team to do this.) You just want to open the surface of the skin, and the closer the scouring, the better the crackling will be.
In a container large enough to hold the belly, put 200g of table salt, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, 4 crushed star anise, 2 tablespoons of crushed fennel seeds and 3 bay leaves. Pour in enough cold water to cover the belly and whisk to dissolve the salt. Place the pork belly in the brine skin-side down and leave in the fridge to soak for at least 24 hours (and up to 36 hours).
To roast, remove the belly from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Cut 4 medium potatoes in half lengthways and place in a roasting tin, rest the belly on top, skin-side up, pour in 200ml of water and then place in an oven preheated to 140°C. Roast for about 1½ hours. The timing will depend on the thickness of the belly but it will take at least this long. You will know it is ready when a fork pushed into the flesh comes away easily.
When the pork is done, crank up your oven to 200°C and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes. This should make the crackling bubble up and go crispy. Leave the pork belly to rest for 15 minutes, then carve and serve with the potatoes it was cooked on.
*This dish would go great with Kitchen Garden Apple and Mint Jelly, Rubies Apple and Ginger Chutney or Newton & Pott’s Feijoa Chutney