Succulent Slow-Roasted Pork Belly with Crispy Crackling
- 1 kg pork belly
- 3 medium onions, or peeled and cored green apples
- 3 teaspoons salt flakes
- 5 tablespoons oil
- For the special roast pork belly sauce
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
- 3 star anise
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- the pan juices
- juice from 1 orange
- 3 slices of orange peel
- 1 cup chicken stock
- salt and peppper to taste
Preparation:10min › Cook:4hours › Extra time:45min Other › Ready in:4hours55min
- Take two long sheets of alfoil and put in baking dish.
- Cut peeled onions or peeled apples in half and place on foil. Cut them lengthwise so that the pork is resting on a flat discs of onions or apples, and so that your guests get half of an onion or apple each.
- Remove all moisture from pork rind by dabbing with high-grade paper towel. This will ensure the pork rind crackles perfectly. Mix salt flakes and oil and rub all over pork belly, including the rind. Work into the crevices all over the pork. Place pork, rind side up, on top of apples or onions.
- Gather up alfoil so that is surrounds the pork but leaves the top skin rind exposed. The alfoil should make a close nest around the pork to prevent it from drying out and gather the juices while it's cooking, but at the same time allow the pork rind to crackle.
- Place in oven preheated to 150 degrees C and cook for 3 hours. Turn oven temp down to 140 degrees C and cook for another hour. Remove from oven and pour out juices and set aside for the sauce. Do not baste the pork at any time while cooking.
- Finally, before serving, place the pork back into oven and cook at 220 degrees C for another 20 mins. This will bring the crackling up to perfection.
- To make the special roast pork belly sauce; in a saucepan mix 1/2 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup red wine vinegar, 3 star anise, 1/2 cinnamon stick, pan juices. Bring to boil and simmer until syrupy - approx 5 mins. Add juice from 1 orange, 3 slices of orange peel and 1 cup chicken stock. Bring back to boil, simmer until reduces. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove orange rind, star anise and cinnamon stick before serving.
- You can also use the pan juices to make a traditional savoury gravy by mixing the juices with hot water in a saucepan and use cornflower to thicken.
The secret to the crackling is to (1) get your butcher to score the rind quite finely, (2) ensure the rind is free of moisture, and (3) don't cover or baste the pork rind at any time whie it is cooking in the oven.
You will get excellent result if you follow the cooking temperatures - it is important that your oven is at the right temperature. I use an oven thermometer (cost me $10, money well spent) so I know exactly how hot the oven is.
You can use any herb rub with the oil and salt. Add rosmary and rest the pork on garlic, or add star anise to the onion. Any of your favourite pork flavours will go well with this recipe - just add them to the rub or rest the pork on your favourite flavours before cooking.
I cooked it for the first time last night. I had never even cooked a pork roast before and this was best I have ever tasted (even better than Mums)! I put a few sprigs of rosemary and some garlic in the bottom of the alfoil with the onion which gave it a mouth watering smell while cooking. please try this recipe. - 27 Apr 2012
I've made this a few times and its gone down so well every time. I am by no means a good cook but this is SO EASY. I find the crackling doesnt come up as well as I'd like (I dont have a very good oven), but I just pop the grill on for a minute or two and it crackles up perfectly- like I get in a restaurant!!!!! - 25 Feb 2012
Beautiful recipe. The trick is not to make too sweet. Don't use too much sugar otherwise the balance of flavours and texture is just wonderful. - 21 Aug 2011