Slow-Roasted Pork Belly With Fennel.

Pork is very sweet meat, so it’s nice to add the vibrant aniseed flavour of fennel. You have got to take your time cooking pork belly, making sure the crackling on top is beautifully roasted while the meat beneath braises gently in the pan’s juices.

Cutting diamonds in the skin allows the seasoning to really penetrate, and although it may seem odd, adding more salt after you have seared it really helps the skin to crisp up. Serve with dauphinoise potatoes and broccoli.

Ingredients for slow-roasted pork belly.

1kg pork belly

Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

1 fennel bulb, trimmed and roughly sliced

4 fresh bay leaves

3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed

1 tsp cardamom pods, bashed

4 star anise

1 tbsp fennel seeds

Olive or avocado oil

325ml white wine

500-750ml chicken or vegetable stock (depending on the size of your pan)

1 tbsp wholegrain mustard.

Preparations of slow-roasted pork belly.

  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C.
  2. Score the pork belly skin diagonally in a diamond pattern at 1 1/2cm intervals. Season generously with salt and pepper, rubbing it well into the skin.
  3. Put the fennel, bay leaves, garlic, cardamom, star anise and half the fennel seeds into a hot roasting tray on the hob with a little oil and heat for about 2 minutes until aromatic. Push to the side of the tray, then add the pork, skin side down, cook for at least 5 minutes until turning golden brown. Turn the pork over, season the skin again with salt and sprinkle with the remaining fennel seeds. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom (be careful not to get the skin of the pork wet.) Bring to boil, then pour in enough stock to come up to the layer of fat just below the skin and allow to boil again.
  4. Transfer the tray to the preheated oven and cook for 2 1/2 hours.
  5. Transfer the meat to a warm plate and set aside to rest. Meanwhile, spoon off any excess fat in the roasting tray or drag a slice of bread along the surface of the cooking juices to absorb it. Heat the tray on the hob, adding the mustard. Mix in with a whisk, then taste and adjust the flavours as necessary. Remove the star anise and cardamom pods and pour the sauce into a jug. Serve the rested pork with the sauce alongside.

Enjoy your delicious pork belly while war.