Our butchers tips
Some Tips for Perfect Roast Pork Belly
Our pork belly is from North Yorkshire, rare breed pork that has grown slowly and put on fat naturally. This adds to the flavour and makes it perfect for slow roasting. It will arrive as either a flat piece or as a rolled joint, depending on your order.
The day before you intend to cook your pork belly, take it out of the vacuum pack that it arrived in and sit it on a rack or plate in the fridge. This will allow the air to circulate around the skin and for any odour that has developed from the packaging to dissipate. The process of vacuum packing sometimes removes juices from the meat that can develop an odour. After an hour or so, sprinkle the skin with some fine sea salt and cover it with a clean tea towel overnight. The idea being to get the skin as dry as possible.
Take the pork out of the fridge an hour or so before you intend to cook it to allow it to relax and come to room temperature. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F/gas mark 7. Give the skin a final pat to dry it and sprinkle with sea salt.
If you have a flat piece of pork it will be fine in a roasting tin, perhaps with some sliced onions underneath for making the gravy. A boned and rolled piece may be better sat on a rack, if you have one, to allow the air to circulate and crisp the skin all round.
Roast the belly pork in the hot oven until the skin starts to crackle. Check the pork regularly to make sure it’s not burning and turn it around if you think you’re getting an uneven crisping.. When you’re happy, turn the oven down to 140C/275F/gas mark 1 and cook for a further 2-3 hours until the meat is perfectly tender. The internal temperature should be above 80C, when measured with a meat thermometer.
Allow the pork to rest for at least 20 minutes for all the juices to be re-absorbed and for the meat to relax.
If your pork is cooked but the crackling is not quite crisp enough, just remove the crackling by slicing it away as close to the meat as possible. Put it back in the oven or under a grill to crisp up while the rest of the meat rests.