Crisply roasted belly pork has to be one of my favourite meat dishes. Flavoured with garlic and slowly roasted in the oven, it’s simply delicious with these tiny lentils cooked in the pork juices and a little red wine with spinach, sage and rosemary. You’ll make this over and over again. This recipe with a 1.5 kg piece of pork serves six people easily, scale it up as appropriate for more!
You will need…
- 1.5 kg slab of belly pork
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 2 teaspoons each of ground roasted fennel and cumin seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon of hot paprika
- Maldon sea salt
- Black pepper
- 225g Puy lentils, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 4 large handfuls of spinach
- 6 sun blush tomatoes cut in half
- Stock from belly pork
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- Rosemary leaves from 2 sprigs
- 1 chopped tablespoon of parsley
- A small handful of chopped sage leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
- 300ml red wine
- Stock from the roasted pork belly – about 300ml
- Prick the pork belly skin with a fork and place it on a rack over the sink. Pour a kettle of boiling water all over it. Pat dry with kitchen roll. Set aside, skin side down.
- Make a paste with 3 of the garlic cloves and sea salt. Rub it thoroughly into the fleshy side of the pork belly and season generously with black pepper and the spice mix. Leave for a couple of hours but preferably overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 210°C.
- Place on a rack over a roasting tray filled with about an inch of water in it c600ml. Rub a little oil on the skin and then sprinkle the skin with a little salt.
- Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes. Turn the heat down to 160C and cook for 2/14 to 21/2 hours until very tender. Finally, turn the heat up to 230°C for about another 20 minutes until the top is crisp.
- Once cooked, leave the meat to rest covered loosely in foil. Reserve and drain the stock from the roasting tray in a jug or bowl. Skim off the fat.
- Now, for the lentils. Heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the onions for about 5 minutes. Add the lentils, sage, rosemary, chilli, wine and stock. Cook for about 15 to 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Wilt in the spinach, stir in the tomatoes and the parsley. Correct for seasoning.
- Serve with slices of belly pork on warmed plates.