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This is a fantastic dish, inspired by the flavours of the Southern Mediterranean. The meat is covered in a salt and spice rub which leaves the meat succulent and tender.
- 1 pork belly, 1.5kg in weight
- 3 banana shallots
- 1 stick of celery
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 garlic cloves
- 100 Marsala wine or sweet sherry
- 300ml chicken stock.
- 3 tbsp of table salt
- 1 star anise, crushed
- 1 tbsp of fennel seeds, crushed
- 1 tsp sweet paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- Carefully remove the skin from the meat.
- Using a very sharp knife or a household scalpel, score the skin, both the length and width, in a 2cm grid. Don't cut all the way through.
- Rub with salt and place on a plate and set aside in the fridge.
- Grind the spice mix and rub over the belly meat. Place on a plate and set aside in the fridge for 4-12 hours.
- Once ready to roast, preheat the oven to 140°C.
- Take the belly out of the fridge, rinse under cold water to remove the salt and spice rub, and pat dry .
- Cut the meat into very large chunks, and in a large hot sauté pan brown the pork all over to give it some colour. Set aside.
- Peel and thickly slice the shallots, celery, garlic, and carrots.
- Arrange these in an oven proof casserole and top with the pork belly.
- Deglaze the sauté pan with the wine and add to the casserole dish and roast for 2-2.5 hours. The timing will depend on how thick the meat is, so test the meat to check if it is cooked - push a fork into the flesh, it should be nice and tender and come away easily.
- When the belly is cooked, remove the casserole from the oven, and turn up the heat to 200°C.
- Place skin on a roasting tray and roast the skin for 30 - 40 minutes until crispy. Finish off under the grill to puff it up. Be careful not to burn it under the grill. Set aside to cool.
- Turn down the oven to 140°C and put the casserole back in the oven for 20 minutes to warm through.
- Break up the crackled skin into chunks and serve with the belly pork alongside steamed beans and sweetheart cabbage.