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 a few new potatoes and these tiny lentils cooked in stock 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!
- 1.5 kg slab of belly pork
- 5 cloves of garlic
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 teaspoons each of ground roasted fennel and cumin seeds mixed with 1 tablespoon of hot paprika
- Maldon sea salt
- Black pepper
- 200g Puy lentils, rinsed
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 stick of celery – chopped
- 4 large handfuls of spinach
- 6 sunblush tomatoes cut in half
- 300ml light chicken stock
- 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
- 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.
- Place the pork, skin side up on a rack over a roasting tray filled with 600ml and the sliced onion. Rub a a few drops of oil on the skin and then sprinkle the skin with a little salt.
- Preheat the oven to 160°C .
- Place in the oven 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 and onions from the roasting tray in a small saucepan. Skim off the fat and blitz until smooth with a stick blender. Reheat on the hob and pour into a warmed jug when you need to serve the gravy.
- Now, for the lentils. Heat the oil in a pan and gently cook the onions, carrot and celery 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 and onion gravy on warmed plates.
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