chinese belly pork
i’ve never been a fan of pork. bacon, yes! spicy italian or spanish sausages and salamis, oh yes! but plain old pork? nope, definitely not.
i think this comes from childhood when we often had pork chops which i always found low on taste and far too dry and chewy. as for pork roasts, they’ve never seemed very exciting either.
until recently that is. pork belly has been appearing on an increasing number of restaurant menus and as a result of a particularly fabulous crisp pork belly dish at fino i decided to try cooking it at home.
obviously i chose organic meat (for moral and tastiness reasons) but even so it’s a cheap cut. and last week, as an extra piece of luck, chadwick’s, the organic butcher in balham,south london, had it on special offer at £4.99 a kilo.
i rubbed the pork with chinese five spice, lime zest, demerara sugar and chilli flakes and then roasted it very slowly (4 hours: 1 at 190c and 3 at 140c). the skin wasn’t crispy enough when i was ready to serve it so i sliced this off and put it under a hot grill for a few minutes which solved the problem (i know it looks a bit charred in the picture but trust me, it was fine!).
the pork, which was meltingly tender and very tasty, was served with pak choy, udon noodles and a plum sauce which was spiced up with cinnamon and star anise.
sadly there were no leftovers. apart from some sauce that is, which means i’ll be using the same rub on a roast chicken later this week and i can’t wait!