Photo by: Richard Learoyd

Roasted pork belly

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1 bunch of thyme, roughly chopped
1 bunch of rosemary, roughly chopped
1 head of garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
150ml olive oil
1 piece of pork belly, weighing 2–3kg
1 bottle of white wine
coarse sea salt and black pepper

Scully, the undisputed king of evening service at Ottolenghi Islington, makes the crispest and tastiest pork belly. You enjoy it in two stages: first, when the crackling breaks in your mouth with a crunch, like flaky pastry; second, when the perfectly tender layers of fat and meat melt on your tongue, imparting delectable smoky and herby flavours. Scully also comes up with the perfect seasonal relishes to go with the pork. Here are two of his creations, but there are infinite other combinations of fruit and spice that we would encourage you to explore. The quantities suggested here will probably leave you with some leftover relish to use later. Serve with anything from mackerel to roast turkey. They should keep in the fridge for at least 10 days, probably longer. When cooking the pork expect quite a lot of smoke in the kitchen due to the high initial oven temperature. Make sure you keep a window open.

Serves 6–8

Method

Heat the oven to 250°C/Gas Mark 10 or its highest setting. Place the herbs, garlic and olive oil in a heavy-duty blender or food processor and purée them roughly.
Lay the pork belly in an oven tray, skin-side down, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Use your hands to spread the herb mixture evenly all over the top, pressing it on so it sticks to the meat.
Turn the belly skin-side up, wipe the skin dry with kitchen paper and sprinkle sea salt evenly all over the skin (but don’t put too much on,
as it might create a crust and prevent the crackling forming). Put the tray in the oven and roast for 1 hour, turning the tray around every
20 minutes. Once the skin has formed some crackling, turn the oven down to 170°C/Gas Mark 3, pour the white wine into the tray (avoiding the pork skin) and continue roasting for another hour. If the belly starts turning black, cover it with foil.
For the last cooking stage, turn the oven down to 110°C/Gas Mark ¼ and continue roasting for another hour, until the skin has crackled completely and thoroughly dried.
Remove the pork from the oven. Use a sharp knife to divide it into segments of a few ribs, cutting between the rib bones. Give as many ribs per portion as the appetite demands. Serve with relish (opposite) on the side.

Reviews

{based on 3 reviews}

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  • Meat Pork Belly
    (21/05/2015) I agree with Antonia re burning of herbs and garlic. I now cook belly without herbs and garlic initially. I then sauté herbs and garlic and add to wine for 2nd hour - big improvement!
  • Meat Amazing dish.
    (19/05/2015) This was my first time cooking this dish, oh so easy and so delicious. It was important to fit it snugly into he roasting dish, I put the herb and olive oil mixture between the meat and the bone which had been detached by my butcher which was a very good idea, got the benefit of having the bone for flavour and also protect the meat from the intense heat of the dish.. Please try it.
  • Meat Roast Belly of Pork
    (21/05/2014) 21.05.14. This recipe is outstanding and have cooked it several times and will be doing it again this weekend. My only criticism is during the first phase when the heat is very high and is crisping up the skin, it burns the herbs placed under the meat. I, therefore, during the second phase decant and strain to another baking tray as the herbs are black which I feel taints the wine. Perhaps it would be better not to use the herbs in the first place? I would love to know the answer.

    Recently we went to Nopi - outstanding also.

    From number one Yotam fan!

    Reply:

    Try using a smaller baking dish so the wine is less likely to get completely absorbed. Then the herbs wont burn.