Rod’s Easter Favourites
The long weekend is nearly upon us and do you know what we love most about Easter? The food of course! For those who have given up their favourite foods for Lent, this is the perfect opportunity to get into the kitchen and rustle up some indulgent treats.
We’re looking forward to getting the whole family around the dining table and serving up a feast of Easter classics. However, we’ve never been one for following the rules (chocolate and wasabi anyone?) So why not replace your traditional lamb and salmon with this seriously crispy roast pork recipe courtesy of our executive chef Rod.
There’s also a quick and easy recipe for a delicious mint sauce which compliments this dish perfectly. Trust us, once you’ve tried this you’ll never look at a jar of apple sauce again.
For the best crackling, buy high quality pork that hasn’t been vacuum packed. Leave the pork uncovered on a tray in the bottom of the fridge for up to 24 hours. This will dry out the skin, which helps it turn into better crackling.
Happy eating all!
Roasted Crispy Pork Belly with Rich Sherry Gravy
2kg British free-range pork belly on the bone
750ml chicken stock
500ml dry sherry plus extra for the gravy
3 onions, sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tbsp fennel seeds
1½ tbsp sea salt
1. Heat the oven to 240°C/220°C fan/gas 9. Put the onions in a large, deep roasting tin with the garlic, sherry and stock. Deeply score the skin of the Pork and put it on the top, skin-side up, pat the skin dry with kitchen towel, then rub the fennel seeds and sea salt well into the grooves of the skin.
2. Roast the pork for 15-20 minutes until the skin starts to puff up. Turn the oven down to 140°C/120°C fan/gas 1. Cook the pork, uncovered, for 5 hours until the meat is tender and falling apart. Take it out of the oven, drain the stock/juices from the tin into a saucepan, along with the onions, then set the stock mixture aside.
3. Turn the oven back up to 240°C/220°C fan/gas 9, put the pork back in and cook for a further 30-35 minutes. Check the crackling after 20 minutes. The fennel seeds may start to brown a little; if so, brush off the excess and continue to roast until the skin has crackled properly.
4. When the pork belly skin has finished crackling, remove the roasting tin from the oven, put the meat on a plate and leave to rest for 20 minutes. For the gravy, bring the reserved stock mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until it coats the back of a spoon. Add a glug of sherry then taste and adjust the seasoning as required.
5. Just before serving, add any of the resting pork juices to the onion gravy, then carve the pork belly into chunky slices.
Serve with: Your favourite potatoes and seasonal greens. Don’t forget the sherry gravy!
Top tip: A homemade mint sauce is just what you need to take this dish to the next level! Add a generous bunch of chopped mint, to a bowl of boiling water (4 tbsp.) Sprinkle in 1 tbsp of sugar plus a pinch of salt and leave to cool. Add in 4 tbsp of vinegar and adjust seasoning to taste.