Totally worth the effort and time, this just melted in the mouth. The roast potatoes done under the roasting pork belly worked a real treat and had that heavenly combination of meltingly fluffy and soft centres and a chewy-crunchy crust.
Roast pork – to feed 4-6
- 1.8kg belly pork, skin on
- about 8 dried bay leaves
- 3-4 fat cloves of garlic
- olive oil
- 1kg potatoes
- glass of white wine
Use a very sharp knife to score the skin. You need to go through the fat under the skin but don’t cut into the meat. This will give you delicious strips of crackling.
Crumble the bay leaves into tiny pieces, squash the garlic with the back of a knife, then mash to two together with a pestle and mortar. Add plenty of salt and black pepper. Add enough oil to make a spreadable paste. Place the pork skin side down and massage the paste into it, pushing it into every crevice. Leave the meat in a cool place for an hour or so to soak up the flavours.
Peel the potatoes, cut them into large chunks and drop them into salted boiling water. Cook until they are just tender, then drain and tip into a roasting tin. Shake them about to rough up the edges.
Preheat the oven to 200ºC/Gas 6. You need to cook the pork directly on the bars above the potatoes. Pour a bit of oil on the potatoes to prevent them from sticking, add a wine glass of water and toss, then put the roasting tin on the lower shelf. Put the pork directly on the top shelf, skin side down. Cook for an hour, turning the potatoes once. Check the pork for any pinkness and if necessary cook a little longer (it will probably take an hour and a half in total).
Turn the oven up to 250ºC/Gas 9. Turn the pork skin side up and continue to cook until the skin is puffed up and crispy. Take the meat from the oven and leave to rest. Take the potatoes out when they are really brown and sticky. Remove the potatoes form the roasting tin and pour in a glass of white wine. Bring to the boil on the hob, stirring well to get all the tasty bits from the bottom of the tin.
Cut the meat into thick chunks and serve with the potatoes, gravy and green salad or apple sauce.
Wine Suggestion: Go for a good-quality, full-bodied Chardonnay. We tried the Atarangi Craighall Chardonnay from New Zealand.
(Original recipe from Nigel Slater’s Appetite, Fourth Estate, 2000.)
We had leftovers the next day in a crusty bread roll … yum 🙂