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.