A big tradition from home in Yorkshire is the family Sunday Lunch. As a girl we would walk 3 miles each Sunday to my Grandparents house. Us kids had to entertain ourselves usually running out in the nearest fields and wooded area and our parents would chat and my Grandma would make our Sunday lunch. We would always have a roast followed by an amazing desert and then around 4 pm we all walked home. On a good weekend we would stop off at a sweetshop and would be allowed to choose a 1/4 of sweets – I used to always buy midget gems and my Dad would take all the green ones.
Living here in the Netherlands I love it when I have a lazy Sunday with time to make a roast dinner and today I made slow roasted pork belly. It was amazing even if I say so myself, with crunchy crackling and caramalised edges and lovely soft centre. Anybody who has had a pork crackling fail will understand my delight. The only complaint I had was that I did not make enough roast potatoes.
If you want to make a similar dish Rachel Allen has a great recipe in her Rachel’s Everyday Kitchen cook book – Slow-roast Pork Belly with Rosemary. It takes over 7 hours to make so definately a relaxing Sunday kitchen potter rather than a weekday fix but so worth the effort.
- 1.25kg piece of pork belly
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
- 1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
- 1 tsp sea salt flakes
For the gravy
- 20g butter
- 20g plain flour
- 500ml chicken stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper. (I did not use these as I put the stock in the roasting dish and deglased the pan, there was enough seasoning from the meat that it neeed no more).
- Pre-heat the oven to 140 C (275F), Gas mark 1.
- If your butcher has not already done so, score the pork rind making sure to cut the rind only and not into the meat.
- Put the meat into a shallow dish. In a bowl mix together the olive oil, rosemary, black pepper and salt. Rub this into the porkall over. Leave the pork to marinade in the fridge for at least half an hour or up to two hours if you have time.
- Cook the pork in the oven for 3 1/2 – 4 hours or until the meat is tender. Turn the oven to 200C (400F), Gas mark 6 and cook the pork for a further 20-40 minutes until the rind is golden and you have crunchy crackling.
- Let the meat rest 20 minues in a warm place before carving.
To make the gravy:
- Taking the roasting pan, empty out the fat from the cooking of the pork.
- Use your chicken stock to deglaz the roasting pan, this gives a lot of flavour and colour to your gravy.
- Melt the butter in a pan and then whisk in the flour to combine.
- Slowly add the chicken stock to the roux to make your gravy, leaving it to gently simmer while you plate up your dinner.
Today I served this with roasted butternut squash, roast potatoes and green beans but if will taste great with any seasonal vegetables.