I went to the market today to get a 2.5 kilo (about 5 lbs) pork belly so that I could make Jamie’s crispy, budget pork belly(under 2 pounds per serving, Frugal). But to my dismay, they only had small pieces. Disappointed, I went over to my friend Jacque’s cafe for an early morning coffee and whined to him. He gave me a sugar cube soaked in Mirabelle liqueur and sympathized. It was 7:30 a.m. and by 8:15 a.m. I had my pork belly :) Jacques removed the small strip of rib bones from the bottom and scored the skin for me. As an ex-butcher, he has a wicked set of knives!
In keeping with this month’s relative frugality, I put the rib bones in a separate roasting pan, rubbed them with dried rosemary, garlic powder, salt and pepper, then roasted them for an hour and a half, along with the pork belly. I then painted them with my home made barbecue sauce http://cookinginsens.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/oven-barbecued-chicken-with-tagliatelle-carbonara/ and returned them to the oven for 15 minutes.
I only changed one thing in this recipe, I put down some shallots along with the thyme and garlic on the bottom of the pan to make a nice bed of vegetables for the pork.
I shredded some daikon, carrot and cabbage, adding rice vinegar, salt and sugar for a quick pickle while the pork was roasting. When it was finally done (Hello! The light was fading from the sky!), I slathered some garlic mayonnaise on slices of fresh country bread, mounded that with the vegetable pickle and topped it all with not so crispy slices of pork belly. Why, why, why can’t I get the skin to crisp? Why Jamie, why? Never mind, it was good. Just not crispy. Thanks Jamie.
Roasted Pork Belly
5 lb pork belly, skin on
1 tsp red wine vinegar
Sea salt flakes or fleur de sel
6 sprigs fresh or dried thyme
6 garlic cloves in skin, crushed
5 shallots, sliced vertically
1 1/2 cup hard cider
Score the pork belly skin at 1/2 inch intervals. Rub with the wine vinegar and refrigerate for 2 hours uncovered. Rub some salt into the cracks of the skin, then sprinkle with sea salt flakes. Place the garlic, thyme and shallots on the bottom of a roasting pan and put the pork on top. Put the roasting pan in a preheated 450 degrees F oven for 20 minutes. Pour in the cider, being careful not to wet the pork. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue to roast for 3 hours until the skin is as crispy as it’s going to get.