Pork belly with crispy crackling and winter spices


So Christmas is nearly here and with all this jolly around us we can only think about Christmas shopping, decorating and cooking delicious meals.Pork belly with crispy crackling and winter spices

            This year (like for the last two, in fact) I will be spending Christmas in Florence with my sisters (much nicer than me) and a fairly large group of noisy Italians. And as I am the only sister with chefy skills I was “hired” to prepare the Christmas Eve dinner.

            I already have in mind what I want to cook and because I couldn’t help myself I started warming up in advance. So I rolled my sleeves, I preheated the oven, poured a glass of rose,  took a piece of pork meat and made my ways with it.

             And with all this contagious Christmas I just want to move into the kitchen and just cook, bake and drink more rose.

            Now let me tell you about this delicious, juicy pork belly or like Tom Kerridge says “proper pork belly” J.

   You’ll need:

  •  1kg of pork belly with skin and all
  • Olive oil
  • Coarse sea salt and pepper
  • Winter spices mix: allspice, coriander seeds, cumin, fennel seeds, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom
  • More cloves for garnishing
  • 1 large onion
  • 250 ml chicken stock or water 

Method:

 First you will need to score the skin diamond shape, rub olive oil and sea salt (don’t be cheap with it because it will make the most amazing crispy crackling ever). Leave it to rest a bit, then in a mortal and pistil crush together your spices (quick tip: you can roast your spices first in a pan, then crush it for the spice rub – all those nice spices will release their oil and it will be even more delicious) and rub all those goodies into the skin and on the meat.
Set aside and cut large slices of onion and place onto the tin your about to cook your meat in to support and flavor the meat. Pour a glass of chicken soup and throw it in the oven at 250 C for about 30 minutes so that the skin will become crispy  then turn the heat down at 160 – 180 and leave it in there for 2-2.30 h checking it from time to time and pouring soup over the meat so that will become juicy. After those couple of hours will take it out of the oven, let it rest for a bit then serve cm. thick slices with whatever side you like: roast potatoes, backed beans, green beans with butter, garlic and lime, you name it.

And because it’s Christmas time and gifts season we at Milk and Toast and Honey are preparing 2 delicious dessert recipes  for you. Stay tuned!

 Happy holidays!

Pork belly with crispy crackling and winter spices

Pork belly with crispy crackling and winter spices

Pork belly with crispy crackling and winter spices

Pork belly with crispy crackling and winter spices

Text: Simona Stinga
Cook: Petrica Ghita
Foto: Ionela Stoica