Sunday, 12 August 2007

Circa 2002

Pork belly may have stopped being fashionable on restaurant menus in 2002 but that doesn’t mean it still isn’t a superbly succulent cut of meat. With its moist flesh and a skin begging to be crisped, it is destined for the roasting tray. Biting into it is a unique textural experience with the crunchy skin yielding to sweet, succulent flesh. Fortunately I’m not a girl who is afraid of a bit of fat but I do recognise you have to treat it correctly. With a little bit of preparation a perfectly crisp finish is guaranteed. Pairing it with aromatic Asian spices ensures the perfect flavours to cut through the richness. Time for a revival? I think so.

Spicy Aromatic Roasted Pork Belly

500 g pork belly (skin on)
1⁄2 teaspoon sesame oil
small knob of ginger thickly sliced
1 clove garlic
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
1 star anise
2 tsp chilli paste (chilli and oil) or 1 dried chilli
2 tsp Sichuan pepper
2 tsp salt
3 cups hot water
steamed rice and gai lan to serve

To ensure a crisp skin pour hot water over the pork belly, fat side up. Dry thoroughly with paper towels and set aside to dry completely.

In a mortar and pestle combine the garlic, star anise, Sichuan pepper, five-spice and chilli paste with the sesame oil.

Score the fat of the pork lightly and then rub the mixture all over the pork, particularly into the incisions you have made on the skin

Preheat the oven to 220C. Prepare a baking tray with rack by filling it 1/3 of the way up with warm water. Scatter the ginger over this. Place the pork skin side up on a rack suspended over the water.

Allow to roast for 30 minutes and then turn the oven down to 180C and allow to cook for another 20 minutes. Your pork should be sufficiently moist and succulent not to require a sauce although any sort of soy reduction would work well. Slice thickly and serve with rice and gai lan.


Paul said...

Im not a boy thats afraid of fat- I love it! Mikey roasted pork belly on Friday night. Yum, yum. X

Anh said...

Truffle, you may know that I dont take pork anymore. But I have to say you have done well with the pork belly! Perfect for winter, right? :)

Thistlemoon said...

Mmmmmm...pork. I love it! This looks so beautiful Truffle!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Nothing worse than soggy pork fat . . . so something like you've got here is the only kind I'll allow once in a great while.
Excellent looking!

Figs, Bay, Wine said...

I've been looking forward to pork belly all summer! Almost time to buy some here. You know, it's still in a lot of the good restaurants here. As long as it's local/ organically farmed, chefs are still excited about it. I guess we're behind you guys on the pork belly curve! Gorgeous recipe.

Wendy said...

I have a (rather flexible) rule that I cook and eat fairly healthy, low fat food at home. When I go out for a meal, however, I eat whatever I want. It works well for me expect when it comes to pork belly! I love it and you just do not get it in restaurants just now!
This sounds delicious. Reminiscent of a Simon Hopkinson recipe I tried once and died for.
Great post!

Truffle said...

Paul- Oh that sounds delicious. What a great start to the weekend!

Anh- I didn't eat it for many years but am loving it right now. You're right, this sort of cut is perfect for winter.

Jendz- Thank you so much! I love it too :)

mykitcheninhalfcups- I agree completely. Thank you!

Figs olives wine- I think you're actually ahead of us. I'd much rather see people relying on what produce is good rather than food fads. Sounds like you have a much better approach :)

Thanks Wendy! It is a bit of an indulgence but I think one that is very much worth it!

Cynthia said...

I don't think I've ever had this cut of meat before but girl let me tell you, I love me a succlent piece of pork :) Barbadians are big pork eaters too.

Barbara said...

I think it's already making a comeback. I have had it twice this year. Once at Aria in Sydney and secondly at Amisfield Winery Restaurant in Central Otago ,NZ. Amisfield has just been named the best winery restaurant in NZ. I have never cooked it myself and I'm impressed with your efforts.

Truffle said...

Cynthia- I think you'll love this particular cut. I'm rediscovering pork and really enjoying cooking with it right now so will have a look over some of your old recipes.

Barbara- I'm delighted to hear that! Thanks so much.

SteamyKitchen said...

I have never made pork belly before. This recipe is going to be bookmarked and will attempt it next week.

You make it sound SO easy!!!

Mansi said...


I love you blog, but I love your profile pic evven more:) your desserts are great!

any way I can get into your blogroll???


Truffle said...

Steamykitchen- Thanks! I hope you enjoy it. It was my first time cooking it at home and it was surprisingly fuss free.

Mansi desai- thanks very much! To join the blogroll there is a link to click at the top of the blogroll (click here to join). Hope to see you on there soon :)

Oh for the love of food! said...

Hi there, Truffle! It's so nice to hear from a fellow Australian Food Blogger. Thanks for visiting my blog, yours is AMAZING! There are so many foodies out there and it would take almost forever to discover all of them, so I'm very glad to be acquainted with you. My favourite cut of pork happens to be Pork Belly and I love the spices that you've included in your recipe. I make a similar roast pork once in awhile. Your travel pics are awesome too! I will be sure to visit again soon!

Big Boys Oven said...

I swear this crispy skin roast pork belly recipe of truffle really works as I did a similar recipe many years ago when I was staying in UK. They are lovely and gorgeous.

Truffle said...

Oh for the love of food!- thanks so much! Your roast sounds delicious! I love those flavours with pork:)

Big Boys Oven- I'm so glad it's worked for you too. Thank you for visiting!

Nora B. said...

Your plate looks like it came from a two-hatted restaurant! Well done, I am so impressed by your platting skills. I don't eat prok, but my partner does. He like the crispy crackling. Esp. pork neck.

IronEaters said...

oo..looking at it makes me drool. Im a big fan of pork belly! esp with a crispy skin on top... how can one resist that! Yum..

Truffle said...

Nora B. - Thank you so much! That made my day. :)

IronEaters - it's pretty tempting, isn't it? Thanks very much!

Anonymous said...

That looks so delicious. Wish I can have a piece of it. I'm shamelessly drooling after your roast pork.