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Sticky Roast Pork Belly with Tomatoes & Olives
For the pork:
- 1.2kg belly pork (skin on) from the front part of the belly, where it’s on the bone, with the bones removed but retained. You’re after a leanish belly. If the ribs are removed, ask for them back! They provide a contrast in texture and flavour and provide a raised bed for the pork to cook on, so it doesn’t sit in its own fat. Buy Now
For the glaze:
- juice of 1½ limes
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 3 tbsp mirin (rice wine or use dry sherry)
- 3 tsp Dijon mustard
- 3 tsp caster sugar
- 5 tbsp soy sauce
- 70ml chicken or beef stock
- 80g sun blushed tomatoes
- 40g black olives, stoneless
- 12 basil leaves
- salt & pepper Buy Now
Pre-heat oven 200C. Using a thin bladed very sharp knife (a clean Stanley knife is ideal) score through the pork skin into the fat. The score lines should be about 5mm apart and run the length of the meat. Repeat on the underside.
Rub salt and pepper into both sides of the belly, rubbing the seasoning into the cracks. Place the meat skin side up sitting on top of the rib bones in a roasting tray. Sprinkle the skin with sunflower oil, then run the flame of a blowtorch over the skin. This removes any hairs in the rind and starts to crisp the skin. Alternatively, pop the meat under the grill to do this.
The cuts in the rind will begin to open slightly when it is ready to roast. Add a small cup of water to the tray and cook for about 25 minutes then turn the oven down to 185C and cook for another hour. If the tray is filling with rendered fat from the meat, tip this off into a heatproof bowl and discard in the bin, NOT in the sink!
For the glaze, place the lime juice, sunflower oil, mirin, mustard, soy sauce and sugar into a small bowl and mix well.
Once the hour is up the pork skin should be crisp and golden. If it’s still limp pop the joint under a hot grill for a few minutes to crisp up. Be careful as the skin can burn easily. Remove the meat and tip off all of the remaining fat into a heatproof bowl.
Now pour the glaze over the meat and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or so.
Remove the tray from the oven and lift out the belly and ribs. Let the belly rest on a warm serving plate while you cut the ribs into individual bones and return to the tin. Set the roasting tin over a medium heat and let the remainder of the glaze in the tray reduce to a slightly sticky sauce then remove from the heat. Don’t over reduce the sauce at this point, as it will end up being too thick and salty.
Carve the pork belly down the score lines made earlier and arrange the meat on a warm plate.
Return the roasting tin with the ribs and sticky sauce to the heat, add the stock, tomatoes and olives, mixing well. You want the sauce to end up with the consistency of light gravy. Stir in the basil leaves and tip the whole contents of the tray, ribs and all, alongside the belly meat. Serve with new potatoes, or a simple salad.