Crispy belly pork
I have made many attempts at crispy belly pork over the years and this recipe, using a salt crust to create an amazing crunchy cracking, is the absolute winner even though it’s so very simple.
Serve with a chilli-soy dipping sauce or tip the sauce into a serving dish, add the pork and leave to rest there for 5 minutes before cutting and serving. Be aware though, you may get requests for it from your family, every single weekend.
Prepare: 15 minutes
Cook:1 hour, 45 minutes
800g - 1kg belly pork
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
2 tbsp fine salt
1 Preheat the oven to 180°C, gas mark 4. Set a roasting tin in the bottom of the oven and pour in some hot water from the kettle. Make horizontal slits in the side of the pork and push the cloves in deeply.
2 Place the pork, skin-side down on a piece of parchment and sprinkle over the five spice. Turn it over and use the edges of paper to dust any stray spice onto the sides of the meat. Sprinkle the salt evenly over the skin of the pork then sit the meat on a rack.
3 Position the rack over the roasting tray of water and cook for 1 hour.
4 Carefully transfer the pork to a work surface and break off and discard the salt crust - it will by now have formed a crisp coating on the top. Using a small knife, deeply score the skin in a criss-cross pattern.
5 Raise the heat to the highest oven setting and cook the pork for a further 45 minutes until the crackling is crunchy and the pork completely cooked through. Leave to settle for few minutes before cutting into slices or squares and serving.
I always use any leftovers to make fried rice or potato hash the next day.