Recipe Pork Belly

Chefs Tip: A clean and sharp Stanley knife (or craft
butcher knife) is the most effective tool for scoring the tough pork skin.
1kg belly of pork from your local craft butcher
2 heads of garlic, halved horizontally
handful of thyme sprigs
olive oil, to drizzle
generous splash of white wine
500mls of apple juice
Preheat the oven to 170oC/Gas 3.
Score the skin evenly in a criss-cross pattern with a
sharp knife. Rub all over with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.
Place the garlic, halved side up, on a lightly oiled
roasting tray and scatter over the thyme sprigs. Lay the pork belly on top, fat
side up. Drizzle with a little more olive oil and sprinkle with a little more
sea salt. Add a splash of white wine around the pork, cover the meat with a
piece of foil and bake for 1½ hours. Remove the foil, baste the pork with the
juices and return to the oven, uncovered, for another ½-1 hour until the meat
is tender. Continue to baste the pork occasionally with the pan juices.
Take it out and rest the belly on a clean tray to cool. While
still warm, place another tray on top of the pork and weigh down with a few
heavy tins to flatten it. Cool completely, then chill for four hours or
overnight in the refrigerator to set its shape.
Deglaze the roasting tray with a generous splash of white
wine, scraping the bottom and crushing the heads of garlic with a wooden spoon
to release the sediment. Boil the liquid until reduced by half, then add the
apple juice and bring back to the boil until reduced and thickened. Strain the
sauce through a fine sieve, pressing down on the garlic pulp with the back of a
ladle. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.
Heat the oven to the highest setting, about 250@C/Gas 9.

the pressed pork into individual portions or squares and pat the skin dry with
kitchen paper. Place the pork squares, fat side up, in a roasting tin and
drizzle with olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Roast for 15-20
minutes until the skin is golden brown and crisp. Rest the pork for 5 minutes,
then serve with the light gravy and accompaniments.

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