Fill your belly for a fiver?

I knew it was cheap but 1.2 kilo of pork belly for a mere wafer of five pounds? The little blighter was cooked for three hours until the the blistered skin was broke like an icy puddle and the fat had rendered to glorious slush. Fennel, celery, rosemary & onion were added for the final run in the oven, cooked until just soft. 


Serves 4 - 6

Prep Time – 10 minutes
Cook Time – 3 ½ hours

1.5kg boneless pork belly
1 tbsp sea salt
Cracked black pepper
1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
1 tbsp oil
1 red onion, peeled and cut into quarters
6 garlic cloves, peeled and cut in half
2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1cm slices (2?)
3 sticks celery, cut into big chunks
400ml chicken stock

1/ Preheat your oven to 220C, fan 200C, gas . Using a sharp knife score skin of your pork belly in diagonal lines approximately 1 inch apart, taking care to only score the fat and not cut into the meat.  Rub the sea salt and rosemary deep into the fat and season with black pepper.  Drizzle with olive oil.
2/ Place the belly in a roasting dish, big enough for the meat to lie flat and roast for about 30 minutes at high heat. You will see the skin start to crackle and become crispy crackling. After 30 minutes turn the heat down to 180C, fan 160C, gas 4 and roast for a further hour.
3/ Remove from the oven and carefully place the belly on a board. Tip all the vegetables into the roasting tin and smother with the fat. Place the belly back on top of the vegetables and roast for a further 1 – 1 ½ hours. The pork is ready to serve when its deliciously tender and almost falls away to the touch.

3/ Roast for 30 minutes before reducing the temperature to 190C, fan 170C, gas 5. Pour the wine and stock into the roasting dish, being careful not to pour he liquid on top of the crackling. Cook for 3 hours?.
4/ Once wonderfully tender remove the pork from the tin and cut into chunks with a sharp knife. Serve with the braised vegetables and a dollop of crème friache.