Roasted orange-rub pork belly with fennel

Roasted orange-rub pork belly with fennel

Barriga de porco assada com laranja

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I first made this dish when I invited some Portuguese friends to celebrate Christmas with me at my first restaurant in London. As the restaurant was closed, we used the open kitchen to cook in and set up a long table in the middle of the dining room. We ate, drank, opened presents and celebrated into the wee hours of the morning of 25 December – just as in Portugal, where the real party is on Christmas Eve. This may not be a traditional dish, but it is a delicious one: the skin is crisp and the insides are lovely and succulent, flavoured with the unmistakeably Portuguese notes of orange and coriander.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
5 garlic cloves, crushed
2 teaspoons sea salt flakes
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
a small bunch coriander, leaves and stalks finely chopped
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
1 orange, Juiced and finely grated zested
4 tablespoons olive oil

For the pork

Quantity Ingredient
800g boneless pork belly
1 fennel bulb
2 sweet white onions
40ml dry white wine

Method

  1. To make the marinade — Using a stick blender or small food processor, blend together all the ingredients for the marinade. With a sharp, pointed knife score the skin of the pork belly all over in a criss-cross pattern. Rub the marinade all over the belly and leave to marinate for a couple of hours in the fridge, or ideally overnight.
  2. To cook the pork — Preheat the oven to 160°C. Slice the fennel and onions into roughly equal pieces, put them in a baking tray and put the pork belly on top with its marinade. Pour in the white wine. Roast the pork belly for 2½ hours, or until tender all the way through. Increase the oven temperature to 210°C and roast for another 10 minutes, or until the skin is crisp. Remove from the oven and leave to rest on a warm plate. Cut into thin slices, making sure everyone gets a piece of the lovely crackling. Serve with the fennel and onions on the side.
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