Having a few people over and wanting to feed them something tasty, I searched my recipe books to find some inspiration to cook Pork Belly. As you know, I’m incapable of following recipes to the letter so I just took in the things that seemed important when dealing with this succulent meat and went for gold!
Two 1.5 kg pork bellies looked a bit sad in their supermarket packaging but I knew with a little slow cooked lovin’ they’d be a great winter night treat.
I didn’t go to the trouble of scorching the fat with boiling water as many recipes say you should do. That just sounds dangerous to me. Instead, I scored and salted the fat side and left them, uncovered, in the fridge overnight to bring out all the moisture.
Next morning I patted them dry, rubbing away the salt, massaged them in olive oil and salted again with Murray River Pink Salt. Wishing them well I put the little fellas straight into a very hot oven for about 15 minutes. I then turned the heat down to about 110 degrees (not fan forced) and forgot about them for about 3 hours. When I next checked on them they were looking very pleased with themselves and the crackling was starting to do its thing. At this point I drained most of the fat away and added some more salt to the crackling.
I made up some marinade to baste the underside and the crackling. In a small saucepan I added brown sugar, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and lime juice. I let it come to a boil so it became sticky and delicious. Every half hour I basted my little friends in this syrup until we could wait no longer to pull them out, cut into bite size pieces and enjoy! Total cooking time was approximately six hours with about 45 minutes resting time with the oven turned off.
According to most of my guests, the best Pork Belly they had ever eaten. Now that’s exactly what a cook wants to hear!