Slow-roast rolled pork belly
by Mike Lubbe
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 large bunch of fresh thyme, leaves only
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1½ - 2kg 3lb 5oz - 4lb 8oz piece pork belly (skin on) cut from the slimmer half, skin scored
- 2 lemons
Toast the spices in a dry frying pan for a couple of mins. Pound them together in a pestle and mortar with some flaked sea salt, the garlic and half the thyme to make a paste, then mix with 2 tbsp olive oil.
Lay the pork on a board skin-side down. Rub the herb mix all over the flesh then scatter with the remaining whole thyme leaves.
Neatly roll the meat into a joint surrounded by the skin then use butchers' string to tie the joint tightly at regular intervals to hold the joint together. Cover and chill, leaving to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, rub the skin of the joint with plenty of salt and 1 tbsp remaining olive oil.
Put it on a wire rack and roast at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 30 mins. After this time, squeeze the lemons over the skin and turn the heat down to 180C/160C fan/gas
Roast for a further 2 hrs. Finally turn the heat back up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and give it a final blast for another 30 mins or so, to finish the crisping of the skin.
Allow to rest somewhere warm for 20 mins. Carve up into thick slices and serve.
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