While waiting on the 2019 – 2020 UEFA Women’s Champion League to kick off in August let’s practice some home-cooked meals for the family get together celebrations. The only thing better than discussing ball techniques, goalies’ skills and women’s ability to slide tackle in a soccer match, is addressing this over a piping hot, crispy, pork belly roast. Many people have their age-old techniques of getting the crackling super crispy, but after some research, the following seems to be the best foolproof way.
- 1kg pork belly, fat scored carefully at 1cm intervals without cutting into the meat
- 1 tbsp oil, extra virgin olive oil or organic coconut oil for the health-conscious
- 1 tbsp coarsely ground salt
- Freshly ground peppe
Firstly, remove the packaging from around your roast and dry it completely and deeply score the rind. If you aren’t sure exactly how to score the fat, most butchers would be happy to oblige. If time allows, it is preferable to leave them uncovered, scored roast in the fridge for at least an hour, longer would be better and overnight would be best, but don’t panic if this is not possible, this method aids in drying out the rind more helping the crackling process along.
Once you are ready to cook your roast, put it in the sink on a wire grid and pour a kettle of boiling water over the fat, make sure it is thoroughly dry after this by patting it with a paper towel. Now it is time to massage the roast with the oil and salt; salt also boosts the crackling process by drawing liquid out of the fat, so make sure the mix breaches the scoring.
Put the roast in a baking tray on a wire rack and cook it at 240⁰ Celsius for up to 50 minutes, then turn the temperature down to 180⁰ Celsius for a further 25 minutes. When the roast is finished cooking, let it rest for 10 minutes, then carve and serve.
If you don’t have apple sauce, you can make a delicious gravy from the drippings of the roast by adding some water and a teaspoon of corn-starch or a tablespoon or white onion soup, continuously stirring over medium heat until the lumps are gone and the gravy is your desired consistency.
- Brussels sprouts – Roasted until crispy golden brown, an earthy compliment
- Butternut squash – Roasted alongside your pork, it’s soft sweetness will balance the rich roast
- Wholegrains – Steamed brown rice will give you starch without the heaviness of mashed potatoes
- Red wine – A medium-bodied red for an Italian styled pork roast or a warm red for winter pork roast
- White wine – A Chenin blanc from South Africa will hold its own with the richness of the pork
- Cider – As pork pairs with apples, this would be an obvious match, go for the drier selection of ciders.