Roast stuffed pork belly
- April 2010
- Serves 8
- Takes 40 min to make, about 2½ hours to cook, plus resting
This pork belly recipe turns a cheap cut of meat into a dish of dinner party standard. The fresh, zingy stuffing makes this extra special.
- 80.8g (31.4g saturated)
- 8.3g (2.1 sugar)
- 3kg whole piece of pork belly, with bones (try to get a wide piece, if possible, to make it easy to roll)
- 2 tbsp sea salt
For the stuffing
- 1 large red onion, finely chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small red chilli, deseeded, diced
- 200g feta, crumbled
- 60g fresh white breadcrumbs
- Grated zest of 1 large lemon
- 30g semi-dried tomatoes, roughly chopped
- Large handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
- 40g butter, melted
- Preheat the oven to 240°C/fan220°C/gas 9, or as high as it will go. Place the pork belly skin-side down on a board. Using a very sharp knife or Stanley knife, carefully remove and reserve the flap of belly that sits over the rib bones, then remove and reserve the ribs. Turn the belly over, short side towards you, and score it widthways, 1cm apart, across the skin.
- Make the stuffing. In a frying pan, soften the onion in the oil over a low heat, then remove to a bowl to cool. Finely chop 250g of the reserved belly flap meat in a food processor (if there’s any remaining, discard it). Add to the bowl of onion along with the remaining stuffing ingredients, and some seasoning. Set aside.
- Place 30cm lengths of string at 2cm intervals across a large board. Lay the pork on top, skin-side down, so the string is running the same way as the scored lines. Spoon the stuffing lengthways down the middle of the pork belly, heaping it up into a cylindrical shape, then bring the sides of the belly up and around the stuffing so that they meet tightly. Tie tightly with the string, and weigh to calculate the cooking time (25 minutes per 450g, plus 20 minutes). Turn the rolled pork belly over and rub the sea salt into the skin, making sure that it gets right into the score lines.
- Place the ribs in an oiled roasting tray and place the pork on top, with the join underneath. Roast for 20 minutes to brown and crisp the skin, then turn the oven temperature down to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and roast for the remainder of your calculated cooking time.
- When the pork is cooked (a metal skewer inserted into the centre of the meat should be hot at the tip), remove from the oven and rest on a board, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Carve into slices, cutting along the score lines you made earlier. Serve with the crispy crushed potatoes and fennel salad.
You can pop the rack of ribs back into the oven for 15 minutes to brown once you have removed the cooked belly. They’re lovely served sliced on the side.
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