The final instalment of today’s Ottolenghi triptych.
I’m now so stuffed I can barely type. We ate this for lunch with the salads. A triumph of fatty pork and clean salads. Followed by cheesecake. Cheesecake and fruit so, you know, healthy.
It’s a pretty easy way to cook pork belly, ensuring tender meat, easily separated fat and properly good crackling.
1 bunch of thyme, roughly picked
Same of rosemary, stripped of the stalks
1 whole head of garlic, peeled
150ml olive oil
1 bottle white wine
Pork belly, bout 2-3kg for 6-8 people
Sea salt and black pepper
Stick your oven on at 250C/Gas Mark 10. Bloody hot, basically.
Whazz up the herbs, garlic and olive oil in a blender or processor to something resembling a rough purée.
In a roasting tin, put the pork in skin-side down and press the herb and oil mixture onto the meat with your hands. Go on, press it in properly, yeah?
Then carefully flip the meat over and dry the skin with kitchen towel. Dry is good. Sprinkle (but don’t absolutely cover) sea salt over it all. Put the tray in the oven for an hour, rotating the tray every 20 mins.
It’ll make smoke which will set off your bloody bugger of a fire alarm every time you open the oven door, so put the extractor fan on when you do.
After an hour it’ll start looking proper.
Turn your oven down to 170C/Gas Mark 3 and carefully pour in the whole bottle of wine, trying not to get any on the skin.
Cook for another hour, loosely covering the top with foil if you think the crackling is starting to get a bit blackened.
Then turn your oven down again, to 110C/Gas Mark 1/4 for one more hour, to properly dry out the skin.
When you take it from the oven use a nice, sharp knife to divide it up, along the ribs if they are included. Eat.
I forgot to take pics of it all served up so below you get the sort of appetising leftovers which shall be consumed when we less resemble beach balls.