Recipe | Spare ribs and pork belly love

Back in the days when I worked at O’Shea’s increasingly hallowed butcher’s shop (look closely and you’ll see me) I used to roast the pork for their legendary pork belly baguette. The queue would sometimes stretch out the door, so popular were these sandwiches, and it soon became clear that roasting the whole pork belly with the bones in slowed down the process of pulling the meat apart somewhat. I started removing the ribs and roasting them separately in five spice and soy, to give to customers in the afternoon.

Today I have an entire pork belly to myself, from the hugely accommodating and tireless Marky Market. It’s for tonight’s supper club, which has a vague Mexican theme. The belly has been skinned and boned and is now marinating in coriander with lemon and lime zest and olive oil. It will be served with black-eyed beans and a coriander, lime, chilli and hazlenut salsa. The skin was chopped up and made into pork scratchings:

And the ribs were devoured by my sister and I for lunch with naught but a pot of chilli sauce. Heaven.

The process is simple. Mix 3 tablespoons soy sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon Chinese five spice and lots of salt and pepper. Chuck in the ribs and coat well. Roast at 180C for 1 hour. Job done.

For the scratchings, cut the skin into strips and chunks and lay on a roasting tray skin side up. Season with salt and leave for half an hour. Pat dry all the excess moisture and bake for 30-45 minutes at 220C. Simples.

Pork belly…how I love thee.

PS Recipe Rifle’s Bazooka Picnic Bombs will be detonated on Saturday. Tomorrow – this week’s food news.


Filed under Recipes

14 responses to “Recipe | Spare ribs and pork belly love

  1. Yummy! Pork belly is fab and I want to give this a shot!

  2. Nibbles

    Perfect in every way!

  3. Ha haa, can’t believe I visited O’Shea’s website … I did spot you at the back there! LOL

    Loooove ribs. Must buy/ cook them more.

  4. I love pork belly, and I sure would love to try your recipe. I’ve always been curious about trying the Chinese Five Spice, but have been intimidated by all the recipes I came across using it. Thanks for sharing this.If you wont mind I’d love to guide Foodista readers to this post.Just add the foodista widget to the end of this post and it’s all set, Thanks!

  5. mmmmm that sounds so simple and SO yum. Think my husband would be putty in my hands if I made that for him this weekend…

  6. have just discovered you blog james….via the times top 40 bloggers of all places! excellent stuff.

    and this looks especially delicious.

    hope you’re keeping well


  7. Pork belly? Food of the Gods. Infinitely giving, infinitely versatile.

    My favourite way is simply slow roasting it, for hours. You get tender meat and a smell through the house that makes people go weak at the knees.

    I always roast on the bone, slice the meat off and then hide the ribs at the back of the fridge.

    I eat them one or two at a time, when nobody else is looking.

    This is my guilty pleasure.

  8. Pork belly rulz ok. I would like to work at a butcher’s for a month or so, just to get the hang of the cuts – I used to be a cook so I like the technical side of things but for some reason not many Austrian butchers are willing to take on English speaking half Japanese girls who weigh less than one of their beef fillets. Wonder why.

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