Visit any number of swish restaurants in town, and inevitably, you will find Pork Belly on the menu. Why?.. you ask. The answer is simple. It’s an inexpensive cut of meat which is easily transformed to produce a succulent and amazingly delicious meal. The recipe for Pork Belly is pretty foolproof, just follow a few easy steps, adding your favourite herbs and seasonings along the way, cook it slowly, and voilà, you’re done.
This recipe for crispy sticky pork belly is super easy. To ensure a crispy crackle and perfect marinade is perfect, we suggest you prepare this recipe a day ahead.
When purchasing your pork, aim to buy free range or organic/biodynamic if your budget allows. Ask your butcher for a boneless piece of belly. The skin must be left on. I always ask my butcher to score the skin (a huge time saver).
For this recipe you will need a wire rack (oven proof) and a baking tray.
Serves 4 generously.
What you will need:
800g – 1kg pork belly*
500ml boiling water
20 gram (1 tbsp) sesame oil
5 gram (1 tsp) pink salt
For the marinade:
5 grams (2 tsp) chinese five spice
40 grams (2 tbsp) soy sauce
40 grams (2 tbsp) raw honey
2 star anise
20 grams (1 tbsp) sweet chilli sauce
Prepare a day in advance:
For perfect crackle: Place your wire rack over the sink. Sit the pork, skin side up, on the wire rack. Pour the boiling water over the skin and allow it to drip and dry for 5 minutes.
Using a paper towel, pat the meat dry. Place into the fridge, uncovered for a minimum of 1 hour (maximum of 2) .
Place the pork onto a chopping board with the skin side up and make a few additional slits to the skin. Avoid cutting too deeply into the meat. Flip the meat over and make slits into the meat (not all the way through) using a sharp knife 1cm deep and approximately 2-3 cm’s apart.
Heat the marinade ingredients together until the honey is well blended. You can do this in the microwave for 30 seconds, or in a saucepan for a couple of minutes, stir continuously.
Pour the marinade onto the meat side (not the skin) and rub into the slits. Turn the meat back over and place the rack onto the baking tray. Place it into the fridge for a further 6 hours (or over night). This allows for the pork skin to dry out and create the best crackle ever!
Take the pork out of the fridge and allow it to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Rub the salt and the sesame oil onto the skin.
Preheat your over to 150 degrees Celsius (300 F) and bake the pork belly 1.5 – 2 hours (depending on thickness of the belly). To ensure that you don’t over cook the meat, pierce with a skewer, if you can easily pierce through the meat then it is ready. For the last 15 minutes, turn the oven up to 220 degrees Celsius (430 F) and bake off until the skin turns into a lovely crispy crackle.
Allow for the pork to rest for 15 minutes prior to serving.
We like to serve this dish with a light fennel and celery slaw.