We’re bringing out all those recipes that we’ve popped in the too hard basket time and time again. Being at home means the oven can stay on longer so this week we’ll be trying this delicious Roasted Pork Belly with Orange and Star Anise...
- 1 bunch thyme, roughly chopped
- 1 bunch rosemary, roughly chopped
- 1 whole head garlic, cloves peeled and crushed
- 100ml olive oil
- 2-3kg pork belly, rind on
- Coarse sea salt and black pepper
- 2/3 bottle white wine
- For the star anise reduction
- 500ml orange juice
- 180ml balsamic vinegar
- 160g honey
- 10 star anise
This cut of pork, slowly cooked, offers the best contrasting textures. The crackling skin and fatty meat, along with the mellow spiciness of anise and sharp sweetness of orange. It's the ideal festive centrepiece for the inexperienced or kitchen-shy; if you follow the instructions, it's hard to get wrong, yet is highly impressive. Goes well with french beans and roasted potatoes.
2. Roast at full blast for an hour, turning the tray around halfway through. By the end of the hour, the pork should have turned a deep golden colour and the skin have firmed up. Turn down the heat to 160C/325F/gas mark 3, pour the white wine into the base of the tray, avoiding the skin, and roast for an hour more. If the belly begins to turn black, cover with foil. For the last cooking stage, turn down the heat to 110C/225F/gas mark ¼, and roast for another hour, uncovered, until the skin has crackled and thoroughly dried.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the sauce. Put all the ingredients in a heavy-based pan, stir and place over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 45-60 minutes, until the sauce has thickened and reduced to a third. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
4. When the pork is ready, take it out of the oven. To serve, cut the joint into segments of a few ribs each, cutting in between the bones. Plate the pork pieces and orange halves on a large platter, and pour some of the cooking liquids on top, followed by a little of the star anise reduction. Dot the 10 star anises from the reduction here and there over the meat, for decoration, and serve the remaining sauce on the side.