If I ever let my wife into the kitchen, this is what I would want her to cook for me for Father’s Day lunch. But because I’m a control freak and won’t let anyone anywhere NEAR my kitchen, I’ve decided to cook it myself. It’s no hardship, honestly.
This pork belly involves three stages: marination, slow-cooking, then pan-frying. It is melt-in-the-mouth sensational.
Serves 2-4, depending on appetite
1 kg piece of pork belly
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp rock salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
1 whole star anise (optional)
1 glass white wine
200ml chicken stock
1. Unroll the pork belly, skin-side up and score the skins with a sharp knife and rub salt and pepper into the skin. Turn the pork over ready for the next stage.
2. In a pestle and mortar, pound all the marinade ingredients together (not the wine and stock), then smear onto the meat side of the pork.
3. Roll and tie the pork together with string. Turn the slow-cooker to low, add the wine and stock, then gently place the pork into the cooker. Cook for 6-8 hours until meat is very tender.
4. Remove the pork from the cooker and leave to rest. Reserve, strain, then skim the fat off the liquid to make gravy. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan, then carefully lay the cooked pork in the pan, skin-side down. Cook for 3-4 mins, until the skin turns crispy and starts to blacken.
5. Serve to the mother of your children, even though it’s supposed to be Father’s Day, with creamy mashed potatoes and buttered cabbage. Thicken the reserved stock with some cornflour to make the gravy.
• And if you liked that, you’ll like this: my pal John Clayton’s stunning Cheat’s Risotto. Head over to his blog for the recipe now. Or if slow-cooker grub is your thing, why not Link up at Dawn The Moiderer’s Slow Cooker Revolution