Pork Belly, Roast Potatoes & Onions, Carrot Mash & Homemade Apple Sauce.

Monday 28th March 2011

Pork belly is very popular in the UK. Every gastro-pub or fine dinning restaurant that I’ve been to has it on the menu. However, here in Spain it’s not so easy to get hold of. I had to go to 3 different butcher before I found it in it’s entirety. It’s called pancetta here or lardons in French, and it comes in slices rather than a whole piece of pork belly. It’s used more like bacon, cubed in soups & stews or in carbonara.

My wife and I are not big fans of pork, in general. Too many memories of dry pork chops being served up as children. But as it’s very fatty and therefore wet, matched with the added bonus that it comes with pork crackling (Queue good childhood memory.), one of us can’t resist ordering it whenever we see it on the menu.

One of the most amazing meals I’ve ever had consisted of pork belly, amongst other things. It was at (get ready for the name drop…) Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant in Claridges Hotel, London.

This beautiful 2×1 inch piece of roasted fat was sticky yet crunchy and full of salty flavour. Heaven on a plate.

Mind you, we did pay for that ‘heaven on a plate’. Mr Ramsey relieved us of Β£194.62 ($313.42) that night.

But it’s only money and anyway memories are priceless.20110328-091407.jpg

I got these cooking instruction from another Dad who cooks wonderful food for his family. Thanks Noel.

“Hi Jon, buy the piece of pork 1 day before you cook it and leave it uncovered in the fridge to dry out the skin. Take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before you want to start cooking it and rub lots of salt into the score marks in the skin (score it with a stanley knife if the butcher hasn’t done this). Dab away any moisture which forms on the skin after you have salted it. Turn the oven up as high as it will go and put the pork in at this heat until the skin blisters and is hard to the touch. This may take 10 minutes or maybe even 30, depending on how dry the skin is at the start and how hot your oven is. Then turn the oven down to 140 and leave the meat in until it has had 30 minutes per pound in total start to finish. Let it rest for about 30 minutes before you carve it. Another great piece of pork is the shoulder blade which you can cook in exactly the same way – you get a bit more meat than a belly but stilll lots of crackling & juicy bits. Hope it works out well!”
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8 Responses to Pork Belly, Roast Potatoes & Onions, Carrot Mash & Homemade Apple Sauce.

  1. I love Gordon, but for that price I’ll cook my own pig fat, thank you very much. Now, if he was actually in the kitchen, I’d be willing to pay twice that.

  2. Stef says:

    The sides in your picture look amazing! How do you prepare your homemade applesauce? I’ve been thinking of maybe trying to make my own…

  3. Stef says:

    When you say “blitz” it, do you mean process it in a blender? Or a food processor? Or something else…?

  4. Mistral Zagni says:

    This was absolutely delicious. Yet another meal I didn’t want to come to an end. The crackling was great and the meat was lovely and moist, not at all dry and all the trimmings were so tasty too. I look forward to that again. My mum has put in an order for it when she comes to visit soon!

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