Slow-roasted pork belly with sprouting broccoli and puréed garlic

Slow-roasted pork belly with sprouting broccoli and puréed garlic

By
From
My Favourite Ingredients
Serves
6-8
Photographer
Jason Lowe

I love the creamy, smooth and ever-so-slightly-pungent garlic purée that you find in Middle Eastern restaurants. Having never managed to persuade anyone to give me the recipe I decided to come up with my own. It’s really not bad and goes beautifully with the sweet, succulent flesh of pork belly. I find the crunchy crackling – achieved by cooking the pork in this way – totally irresistible.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
2kg pork belly, with skin on and ribs intact
50ml olive oil
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
4 celery sticks, cut into chunks
2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 bay leaves
few rosemary sprigs
2 dried red chillies
500ml white wine

Garlic purée

Quantity Ingredient
20 very fresh garlic cloves, peeled but left whole
200ml whole milk
3 lemon thyme sprigs, (or ordinary thyme)
50ml mild-tasting extra virgin olive oil
few drops lemon juice

Sprouting broccoli

Quantity Ingredient
750g sprouting broccoli, trimmed
40ml extra virgin olive oil
1 red chilli, sliced, (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Using a very sharp knife, score the skin of the pork at regular intervals, making the cuts about 5mm deep. Rub the olive oil into the flesh and season well all over with 1 tbsp sea salt and the fennel seeds. Place the pork belly, skin side up, in a roasting tray and roast on the middle shelf of the oven for 45 minutes until the skin begins to blister and colour, and the crackling begins to form.
  2. Carefully lift out the pork onto a platter and scatter the vegetables, herbs and dried chillies in the roasting tray. Pour over the wine, season lightly and stir to combine. Rest the pork on top of the vegetables and cover with foil. Lower the oven setting to 160°C. Return the pork to the oven and cook for a further 2 hours. By this time the meat should be meltingly tender. Remove the foil and cook, uncovered for a further 20 minutes.
  3. While the pork is roasting, make the garlic purée. Put the garlic, milk and thyme sprigs in a small saucepan over a gentle heat. Add a pinch of salt and bring to just under a simmer, then turn down the heat to very low and poach the garlic very gently until soft, about 35 minutes. The garlic should be very soft and almost falling apart. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the garlic cloves to a bowl and add a tablespoonful or so of the milk. Mash, using a fork, to a purée, then stir in the olive oil. Add a few drops of lemon juice and season with a little more salt and pepper to taste; keep warm.
  4. When the pork is ready, set aside to rest while you cook the broccoli. Add to a pan of boiling salted water and cook for about 3 minutes. Drain and immediately dress with the extra virgin olive oil and chilli slices if using.
  5. Cut the pork into 2–3cm thick slices, sliding out the bones as you do so and discarding the vegetables. Arrange on warm plates with the broccoli. Spoon over the garlic purée and serve.
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