This is a favourite dinner-party recipe. The individual, gastropub-style squares of pork belly look so impressive, but they couldn’t be easier to cook. Here's how to rustle up this dish to impress eight of your friends. 

Ingredients:

  • 2–2.5kg pork belly, boned, skin intact and finely scored 
  • 4 carrots, rough dice
  • 2 onions, rough dice
  • 1 fennel bulb, rough dice
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1tbsp peppercorns
  • 45g butter
  • 45g flour
  • Lemon
  • Vegetable or chicken stock, to cover (2 litres, depending on size of roasting tin)
  • 1.5kg (King Edward, Maris Piper, Desiree), peeled and rough dice
  • 75g butter
  • 100ml milk or cream
  • 4tbsps grainy mustard 
  • Spring greens

 

sausages

 

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. Place the pork belly, skin-side up, in a roasting tin and scatter the carrots, onion, fennel, bay leaves and peppercorns round the edge.
  2. Bring home-made stock up to a simmer. If you’re using shop-bought stock cubes, then make it weaker than pack instructions—it will be too salty otherwise, and there are plenty of vegetables to boost the flavour during cooking.
  3. Pour the stock over the pork belly so it’s covered, roast at 150°C for three hours. Remove and set to one side, leaving the belly and stock to cool in the pan for 45 minutes.
  4. Lift the pork belly out of the roasting pan and place it, skin-side down, on a tray. Put a chopping board on top of it with something heavy on top (e.g. kitchen weights, tins of tomatoes) to press the belly. Refrigerate for anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. Meanwhile, strain the stock and also refrigerate until it’s needed.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  6. Put on the potatoes to boil. Once they’re cooked, drain and mash with the butter, milk or cream and mustard. 
  7. To finish the pork belly, put it skin-side down on a board and cut it into eight squares. Rub a pinch of salt into the skin and cook the squares, skin-side down, for 20–25 minutes until the fat is melting and the skin is crisp and golden.
  8. To make a gravy, heat the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute on a low heat until it’s a deep straw colour. Add a ladle at a time of the strained juices that the pork was cooked in, stirring constantly until you have a smooth consistency. Taste and then season with a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper. Tip into a warmed gravy jug.
  9. Blanch the spring greens in boiling water, toss with the butter and pinch of salt, and tip into a warmed dish.
  10. Plate up each portion by putting a scoop of mustard mash in the middle of a warmed plate and place a pork-belly square on top. Put the gravy and spring greens on the table so everyone can serve themselves.

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