Monday, March 29, 2010

Crisp pork belly with caramel vinegar

I have never really been a fan of Pork, I think this all came from my childhood when my Mum would make pork chops- the chops were always dry and flavourless, there simply was no amount of apple sauce that could save them. It was only until my cousin made me the most AMAZING pork dish when she was visiting me from Sydney. I can still remember the smell coming out of the kitchen when she was whipping this baby up- and when I tasted it, well I just knew my many years of a VERY strong dislike of Pork had ended. I think the difference was in the cut of meat. Instead of a chop, which can become dry due to the lack of fat in the meat, she used pork belly. When cooked correctly, it is simply divine! Ahhh my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

I found the recipe that dearest cousin used to convert me and it is still unbelievably fantastic! It is a Bill Granger recipe, and of course like many of Bill's recipes with a little work, love and passion, you will have an amazing outcome 100% of the time.

This recipe produces incredible crackling, the type that is crunchy until the last bite with that lovely salty flavour. The meat under this cracking crackling is incredibly moist and succulent, and just melts in your mouth. The tender meat is paired with 2 incredible sauces that just lifts the dish to another level- one sweet and the other sour- a little yin and yang to make this dish a winner.

It is not the prettiest of dishes, but I promise you it is good!


  • 1.5 kg of Pork Belly
  • Sea salt
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Caramel Vinegar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup of red wine vinegar
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cup of chicken stock
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 4 wide strips of orange rind
  • Sea salt

Bok Choy with Sweet Soy and Lime
  • ½ cup soy sauce
  • 1 ½ tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 ½ tbsp lime juice
  • 3 bunches of pak choy
To make the caramel vinegar start by putting the sugar, vinegar, star anise, and cinnamon in a saucepan over a medium heat stirring until all of the sugar has dissolved.

Then bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until it has turned into a fragrant syrup.

Next stir in the chicken stock and simmer for a further 5 minutes- finally add the orange juice and peel and continue to simmer until the sauce is thick like a syrup.

This will be used for the pork so cover to keep it warm.

To make the Pak Choy with the sweet soy and lime sauce, simply put the soy sauce and sugar over a medium heat and once again stir until the sugar has dissolved.

Simmer and reduce the sauce by half- remove from heat and simply stir through the lime juice.

At this point I also add some freshly chopped red chilli as I like it a little hotter, but this step is totally up to you

Now for the pork…..

Preheat the oven to 220oC.
Firstly you need to score the skin of the pork with a sharp knife (it is probably best to get your butcher to do this for you as you need a very sharp knife) massage the salt into the skin of the pork and leave for 30 minutes.

After the 30 minutes get some kitchen paper and wipe off the salt from the Pork skin and make sure it is really dry (this will help the crackling become crispy and crunchy!).

Pop the Pork skin side down into a large roasting tin with the oil and then drizzle the Pork with some oil and season.

Roast for 30 minutes and then reduce the oven to 190oC and continue to cook the meat for another 1 ½ hours.

After the time is up carefully turn the pork over so the skin is facing up, then cook for about 15 -20 minutes or just until the pork skin is golden and crispy.

Now remove the pork and leave to rest for 15 minutes loosely covered with some foil

Now just serve up with some fluffy white rice, the pak choy and sweet soy and lime sauce and some freshly chopped red chillis!!

1 comment:

  1. Mmmm I love pork belly!

    What a great dish! I love the crispy skin :)