This is my household’s first-choice Sunday roast. We eat the crisp salty crackling with our fingers, pull at its succulent flesh and are generally left feeling fully satisfied. If that makes us sound greedy then yes, we are when it comes to belly of pork and the recipe below reflects that in how many it serves. I have seen other recipes saying a similar size piece will serve 6 or even more. Not at my table, but the choice is yours.
Servings - 4
1.7kg bone-in belly of pork, scored
3 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 tsp juniper berries
1 tsp coriander seeds
fine salt and sea salt flakes
leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp red wine or cider vinegar
3 bay leaves
4 small eating apples
Crush the garlic, juniper berries, coriander seeds and a good pinch of salt in a pestle and mortar into a paste. Mix in the rosemary leaves, olive oil and vinegar. With the meat upside down in a large low-sided roasting tin, make incisions in the flesh and rub the paste all over the underside of the joint. Put the bay leaves on top, and turn it over so the joint is sitting on the bay.
Dry the belly’s skin with kitchen towel. Massage 1 tbsp fine salt into the scored crevices, then sprinkle over salt flakes. Set aside for an hour.
Heat the oven to 230C. Roast the belly for 30 mins, turn the oven down to 170C (don’t open the door) and roast for a further 1 hour 30 mins. Score a line around the equator of the apples and put those into the roasting pan, rolling them in the juices. Return to the oven for 30 mins.
Set aside the belly and apples for the meat to rest while you finish the side dishes. Ideally, that would be piles of buttery mash and lemon-spiked cavolo nero.
(This recipe originally featured for Borough Market.)