lemon, fennel and rosemary rub

belly pork is a favourite of mine, and so easy to cook. an initial burst of heat to get some decent crackling underway followed by a long cook at a low temperatures is guaranteed to result in moist, meltingly tender meat with the fat having slowly rendered away.

i vary the flavours i use, with chinese spices being an old favourite, but this rub will definitely be repeated – crushed fennel seeds, finely chopped garlic, lemon zest, black pepper and finely chopped rosemary.

having scored the skin (you can get your butcher to do this) and rubbed it with salt i rubbed the lemon, rosemary and fennel mix on the underside, into the meat itself and placed it skinside up in a heavy tray.

for a 1kg piece of meat, 1 hour at 190c and then 2 ½ hours at 150c was sufficient. the crackling wasn’t quite as crunchy as i wanted so i cut this off the meat and popped it under the grill for a few minutes while the pork rested.

we ate our pork with roasted tomatoes (seen below, peeking out from under the crackling which had just been finished under the grill) and a pea and broad bean pilaf.