Crispy pork belly
( SERVES 6 )
This is probably the most popular recipe I have ever written, with the possible exception of my famous banana cake. It’s so simple and so incredibly delicious. The key to great pork crackling is to dry the skin side of the meat well before sprinkling it with salt. Blast it in a hot oven to begin with to get the skin crunchy, then slow cook it for a further hour and a half in a pond of milk. You can also use wine or cider but there is something in the milk that makes the pork so succulent and tender. The milk reduces down to form rather unattractive curds in the baking dish, but these are actually quite delicious. Make sure you use a metal baking dish as other types may shatter when you add the cold milk.
- Preheat oven to 240˚C fanbake. Pat the skin of the meat dry and season the flesh side with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the sage leaves on the bottom of a metal baking dish and place the pork on top, skin-side up. Season the top with salt.
- Roast for 20-30 minutes at 240˚C until the skin is starting to blister and crackle. Watch closely for burning. Pour the milk, wine or cider around the meat to come about half to two thirds of the way up the sides of pork.
- Reduce the heat to 160˚C and roast for a further 1½ hours or until the meat is meltingly tender. Check the level of liquid during cooking and if it has evaporated add a little more to the pan.
- Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to cool. For easiest cutting, place flesh-side up on a chopping board and use a heavy, sharp knife to slice it into pieces about 3-4cm thick. Serve warm or at room temperature.
See more of Annabel's slow-cooker recipes