Ben's Crispy Pork Belly Recipe

Crispilicious.


This is the pork belly of the gods, says our assistant manager Ben Cooper. When Ben was a chef, he perfected this recipe over the years. But there’s also a twinge of nostalgia – when he was living in London, he’d cook this for friends to remind him of home.


This recipe must be prepared the day before serving. Ben recommends serving the pork belly with mash, butter softened spinach leaves and pork sauce. Enjoy!


PREP TIME: 45 mins COOK TIME: 4 hours plus cooling SERVES: 6-8


INGREDIENTS:

½ pork belly (skin off)

1L chicken stock (and extra for the stuffing if needed)

1L veal stock

1 onion, fine diced

1 carrot, fine diced

1 stalk of celery, fine diced

1 bunch sage

Bunch of garlic cloves

3 rashers of bacon, fine diced

1 loaf of sourdough

200 ml of olive oil

250g butter

Oil

Salt and pepper


METHOD:

1. Use a food processor to combine sage and garlic with 200ml of oil

2. Place butter in a deep pan on medium heat, letting the butter melt and start to bubble

3. Add onion, carrot and celery and let them sweat off for a minute

4. Then add in fine diced bacon and cook until they have some colour on them

5. Add in chicken stock and veal stock into pan and let them reduce to ¼

6. Dice sourdough into 2cm cubes and toast in the oven until golden brown

7. Place sourdough croutons in pan and let this soften - if there isn’t enough liquid to soak the bread then add more chicken stock.

8. Cook this off until there is no liquid in the pan and the bread is of stuffing texture

9. Cool this mixture down in the fridge before placing in pork belly

10. Take your pork belly out and clean up any hard bits of fat - it will need some fat on the belly to roast off and give a beautiful flavour

11. Season with salt on the inside of the belly before making cylinder of stuffing on the inside of the belly

12. Roll the belly tightly to keep the stuffing in, removing any excess bits of meat and stuffing at ends to keep a perfect cylindrical shape

13. Use twine to keep belly in place with 3cm gaps in between

14. Wrap with baking paper and then with foil

15. Preheat oven to 150° Celsius and once oven is at temperature place the belly on a medium depth tray for 3 hours - do not let the fat and any excess juices leak out

16. Pull the belly out and turn the oven up to 250°

17. Carefully unwrap the foil and baking paper and place pork belly back in the oven for 10-15 mins until crispy and golden

18. Take the tray out and let the pork cool down, then place onto a clean tray and refrigerate with glad wrap covering it

19. Let all the fats stick together and harden allowing you to slice the pork and for it to keep its cylindrical shape

20. Remove twine and slice into 3cm portions

21. Pan sear one side until golden brown then flip onto other side into a medium depth tray with 5mm deep of chicken stock

22. Bring up to temperature in pre-heated oven at 180° for around 15mins

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