Marinated pork belly stuffed with apples and walnuts
( SERVES 8 )
A hangi at home can be delicious - all it takes is a bit of extra effort, some marinating and stuffing, and an adventurous approach to flavours. If I was going to do one at home I'd probably get something like pork loin or pork belly, then stuff it, roll it and wrap it in baking parchment and foil. Flavours like chilli, ginger and garlic work really well. Or you could stuff a chicken cavity with coconut, vanilla and ginger and cook it wrapped in banana leaves or simply in an oven bag. Boned meats like a butterflied shoulder of lamb work really well.
- Lay the belly on a chopping board and cut it through the centre horizontally, but don't cut completely though - you want to be able to open it up but keep it in one piece.
- Drizzle the soy all over the pork, including the "inside" and then place in a dish, cover with plastic wrap and leave to marinate for an hour.
- Drain the soy from the pork and place 50ml of it into a pan. Don't peel the apples but grate them, avoiding the core. Squeeze the juice from the gratings and place this in the pot with the soy and the honey or sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce - to form a glaze.
- Mix the grated apple with the walnuts and stuff the belly with it. Drizzle the glaze in the cavity as well. Run the leaf over a gas flame - or under a grill - to soften and lay it on your bench. Sit the belly on top making sure the stuffing stays in place. Fold the leaf over itself like a parcel and tie reasonably tightly with string.
- Cook in the lower parts of the hangi for 2½ hours, or on a baking tray in the oven at 190C for 3 hours.
- Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Then remove the twine and leaf and slice thickly.