Monday, 12 January 2009

Roast pork belly with black pudding

Like other so-called 'cheap' cuts pork belly has gone up significantly in price over the last year or so since it became a must-have main course in gastropubs and other modern British restaurants. But it's still a reasonable deal. I paid just over £13 for a 2.5kg piece in St Nick's Market in Bristol on Saturday and it produced 10 helpings (everyone had seconds!) with two more for leftovers today. I could have paid less but it's worth buying pork that hasn't been anywhere near a vac-pack if you want to get decent crackling.

I stretched it with slices of black pudding, a big tray of roast veggies including potatoes onions, carrots and parsnips and some steamed Savoy cabbage which made everyone's plate look loaded even though they didn't have a vast amount of meat. It's also very good with mashed potato mixed with equal amounts of puréed unsweetened Bramley apples, a German dish called poetically Himmel und Erde (heaven and earth).

Serves 4-6
1 tsp coarse sea salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
2 tsp coriander seeds
1 large clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp sunflower or light olive oil
1.35kg belly pork in a single piece on the bone
500ml chicken stock
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
250g black pudding, skinned and sliced

Preheat the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas 9. Put the salt, peppercorns, coriander in a mortar and pound with a pestle until coarsely ground. Add the chopped garlic and pound again then add a tablespooon of oil to create a thick paste. With a sharp knife cut into the pork flesh either side so you can push the spice mixture into the meat and rub it over the flesh and into the cuts you’ve made (but not over the skin). Put the joint on a wire rack over a roasting tin and add a splash of the stock to the pan to stop the spices from burning and roast for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and cook for another hour and forty minutes, pouring off the fat half way through and adding a little extra liquid to the tin if the juices threaten to burn. (Don’t baste it though - you’ll spoil the crackling!)

Transfer the joint to another roasting tin, turn the heat back up to 230°C/450°F/Gas 9 and continue cooking until the crackling is good and crisp. Set aside and rest for 10 minutes (but don’t cover or the steam will make the crackling soft) Carefully pour any accumulated fat off the first roasting tin, pour in half the remaining stock and work round the tin with a wooden spoon to incorporate all the caramelised meat juices. Add more stock if needed to get a thin but tasty gravy and season with salt and pepper.

Heat the remaining oil in another pan and fry the black pudding slices on both sides until crisp. Carve the meat into chunks and serve with roasted root vegetables or potato and apple purée as suggested above and some lightly cooked, buttered brussel tops or cabbage.


Tabby said...

This sounds delicious, I will definitely be trying this out next time I go home and cook for the family in my mum's kitchen.

I've noticed pork belly on menus quite a bit recently - I had not realised it was actually a cheaper cut of meat. I had an amazing belly of pork with potato and celeriac mash in a restaurant called Foggs ( in Camden, and in Soho at Balans layerd with fennel and topped with the most amazing crackling I have ever tasted.

I think the pork belly always seems to taste a little more tender and juicy than other cuts.

Clare said...

It is still affordable in France, at about €4.5/£6 a kg. As a comparison, I paid €8.13/£9.00 for a 1.5kg piece from the supermarket last week. I got 4 servings from it.
I roasted it at low temp (130°C) for 3 hours and finished it under the grill for a few minutes.
Very nice it was too!

notSupermum said...

I like pork but never cook it myself, I must overcook it because it gets rubbery,

Fiona, hope you don't mind but I've linked your red cabbage recipe to a recipe I've put on my blog today. It's my Mum's recipe for Scouse - have you ever had scouse?

Fiona Beckett said...

Pork and fennel is fab, I agree, Tabby. You could always add a teaspoon to your spice mix along with a little crushed chilli if you want to zip it up even more

Haven't seen it in France, though Clare but they have other good cheap cuts like pot au feu

And no, have never had scouse notSupermum but it looks really tasty. (Didn't know you were a scouser! Liverpool or Everton?) Absolutely fine to link to the cabbage recipe - thankyou.

notSupermum said...

Oh, Liverpooooool of course! Come on you reds!


Fiona Beckett said...

Yey! We're all Liverpool supporters too!

Slice of life said...

Hey there, I went to Asda the other day, and people were asking what was on offer for the £1 bargains

Lloyd Grossman, curry sauces and pasta sauces in jars

pataks curry sauces, madrs, jalfezi,korma the usual suspects

Kellogs fruit and fibre

Some rather fatty mince beef I think it was 500g

Covent garden soups

I didnt really see anything else, as I didnt go to the cleaning aisle. Hope this helps

Fiona Beckett said...

Thanks, Slice of Life. The Loyd Grossman and Patak's sauces are really worth buying at that price. Fruit and Fibre too.

Warburs said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Warburs said...

Hi just stumbled across this blog. What a great read. I see we're both trying to achieve the same results (and promote the same ethos) although you're way ahead of me!

I write a weekly column at my own blog of thrifty recipes:

And also a weekly column for the website:

Really great read though :-) and will be back!