Spiced pork belly stuffed with prunes
- February 2006
- for 6 people
- Takes 30 minutes to make, 1 hour 10 minutes in the oven, plus resting
A roast does not get much better than this – crispy crackling, tender pork belly and a spiced prune stuffing.
- 60.7g (21.5g saturated)
- 45.4g (34.9g sugar)
- 150g dried, ready-to-eat prunes
- Juice of 1/2 orange
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1.5kg piece boneless pork belly, skin removed, scored and reserved
- 2 tsp ground allspice
- 2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
For the roasted vegetables
- 3 red onions, cut into thin wedges
- 12 medium carrots, cut into chunks
- 1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into chunks
- Few sprigs of fresh thyme
- Few fresh bay leaves
For the cabbage
- 1 small white cabbage, quartered and cored
- 40g unsalted butter
- Put the prunes, orange juice and cinnamon in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, or until most of the liquid has evaporated. Discard the cinnamon and set aside to cool. Whizz in a food processor until roughly chopped.
- Preheat the oven to 220°C/fan200°C/gas 7. Lay out the pork with the long side facing you. Using a long knife and working from right to left, split the pork from the short side almost in 2 lengthways, then open it up like a book. Rub the spices and some salt into the opened pork. Spread the right half with the prunes, leaving a small border on all sides. Fold back the left half to enclose the prunes.
- Roll the meat up from the short, open side, as you would a Swiss roll. Wrap this in the reserved, scored skin, then tie neatly several times with butcher’s string.
- Put the vegetable oil in a large, roasting tin and put in the oven for 10 minutes. Add the vegetables and herbs, season and toss in the oil. Push them towards the side of the tin and put the pork in the centre, rolling it to coat in the oil. Season and cook skin-side up for 1 hour, or until the pork is golden and the vegetables tender. Turn off the oven and transfer the pork to a plate. Cover loosely with foil and rest for 15 minutes. Pop the vegetables back in the oven to keep hot.
- Meanwhile, thinly slice the cabbage. Blanch in boiling, salted water for 2 minutes, drain and return to the pan. Add the butter, season and toss together.
- Carve the pork into generous slices, discarding the string as you go. Divide between warm plates. Spoon the vegetables alongside, drizzling over any pan juices. Serve with the cabbage, Onion and walnut compote, and Quince and apple sauce.
Ask your butcher to remove and score the pork skin for you. Alternatively, do it yourself with a clean, sharp Stanley knife.
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