Roast Pork Belly, Carrot and Miso Puree, Green Pepper and Apple Relish

10:48 pm on 9 November 2009

Recipes featured in Coco published by Phaidon Press.

For the pork belly

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg piece of pork belly
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika (or ordinary paprika if not available)
  • 4 star anise, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds crushed
  • 3 bay leaves

Method

Using a very sharp knife score the skin of the belly as finely as you can, being careful not to cut into the flesh. You just want to open the surface of the skin and the closer the scoring, the better the crackling will be.

In a container large enough to hold the belly, put the salt, paprika, star anise, fennel seed and bay leaves. Pour in enough cold water to cover the belly and whisk it to dissolve the salt. Place the pork belly in the brine skin side down, and leave to soak for at least 24 hours (and up to 36 hours).

If you do not have the time or inclination to brine the belly, grind the spices and bay leaves in a coffee grinder and add 3 tbsp Maldon sea salt. Mix together and then rub the mixture over the belly. Roast as below.

To roast, remove the belly from the brine, rinse and pat dry. Place the belly in a parchment lined roasting tray flesh side down and add 200 ml of water and roast in an oven at 140°C for about 2 hours. Timing will depend on the thickness of the belly but it will take at least two hours. You will know it is ready when a fork pushed into the flesh comes away easily.

When the belly is ready, crank up your oven to 200°C and leave for an additional 8 to 10 minutes. This should make the crackling bubble up and go crispy.

A trick we use at the restaurant though, when the crackling refuses to behave itself, is to heat up a heavy bottomed skillet with a little oil. When it is hot, lay the belly skin side down and it will puff up like a dream. If the surface of the crackling is uneven just press it down where it is not touching the pan.

Green pepper and apple relish

This recipe will make more than you need for the fritters but it is delicious and works well with almost anything. Try it with cheddar, cold meat cuts, roast pork or lamb and it is super tasty for breakfast dolloped on top of your sausages! It lasts for many months stored in your fridge.

Ingredients

  • 500g granny smith apples, washed, cored and roughly chopped (cored weight)
  • 1 kg green peppers, washed, cored and roughly chopped (cored weight)
  • 250g white onion roughly chopped
  • 100g peeled ginger roughly chopped
  • 40g garlic
  • 8 green chillies sliced into fine rounds with seeds
  • 350ml cider vinegar
  • 150ml fish sauce
  • 500g granulated sugar

Method

Blitz the apple, feijoa, green pepper, onion, ginger and garlic in batches until you have a coarse puree. Put this in a heavy bottomed pot with the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for approximately 40 minutes stirring frequently to ensure the relish does not catch.

When it has reached a jammy consistency, take off the heat. You can jar the excess if you like or just store in a container in your fridge.

Carrot and miso puree

Ingredients

  • 125g butter
  • 150g shallots, diced
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 30g peeled ginger, julienned
  • 750g carrots, finely sliced into rounds
  • 125 ml cream
  • a little water
  • 95g white miso

Method

Melt the butter in a heavy based saucepan. When it begins to bubble add the shallots, thyme and ginger. When these begin to soften, add the carrots and gently cook with a lid on for a further 10 minutes. Add the cream and a slosh of water and continue to cook over low heat until the carrots are tender. Remove from the heat, stir in the miso and then puree the carrots in batches in a liquidiser until silky smooth. Check seasoning and serve with the roast pork belly, a dollop of the relish and something green.

Stephen Morris’s wine recommendation

Church Road "Tom" Chardonnay (Hawkes Bay) 2006
Ata Rangi "Petrie" Chardonnay (Martinborough) 2008

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