This is what happened, I went to the butcher to get my pork belly and then I went to the supermarket to get some more ingredients for dinner. After paying at the self-service check-out, I went home and suddenly realised one ingredient was missing. I left the pork belly at the supermarket!! I sprinted back to the supermarket (I could have won at least a bronze medal, I'm sure) and luckily somebody handed it in to a member of staff. I was so relieved...
It was a pretty good exercise though. I haven't been to the gym for a week and I don't mind burning a few calories before dinner.
This is another Jamie's recipe that I have made before and it got better and better. In a pestle and mortar I bashed some fennel seeds with salt and massaging this fragrant mixture to the scored skin before cooking.
Pork belly is best when cooked slowly, starting in a very hot oven to get the crackling going for about ten minutes; and then turning it down, letting the meat to continue cooking for another three hours.
After the first hour, take the tray out of the oven, pour away any excess fat and pour in a bottle of white wine and put it back in the oven for another couple of hours. The wine will become a delicious, light gravy.
The last hour of the cooking is the perfect time to make the accompaniment for the pork belly, must try red cabbage braised with apple, bacon and balsamic vinegar; also a recipe I have made before and it's definitely a must try.
The red cabbage is slowly cooked with bacon, fennel seeds, onions, apples and balsamic vinegar until the vinegar becomes syrupy and the cabbage is gorgeously sweet. Before serving, stir in a knob of butter and sprinkle with some parsley.
Dinner was YUM! the pork belly was so moist, the crackling was crunchy and the cabbage really complements the pork.
My friends and I had a little break and then it was time for dessert... and I think this dessert deserves its own post.