When it comes to Christmas feasting, people's attention goes straight to the turkey and ham, but this rolled pork belly recipe is divine – a great way to kick off the festivities before the big day.
You can ask your butcher to score the pork skin for you if easier. If you can’t get your hands on Dollard & Co white pudding, a good, coarse one such as Clonakilty will work well.
Do not add any oil to the uncooked pork skin at all. The secret to good crispy crackling is very dry skin. Note – when rolling up the pork, trim away any skin that ends up inside the roll. You want the pork skin to only be outside the rolled-up piece. If you have extra stuffing left over, bake it in a small metal tray covered in aluminium foil for 40-50 minutes alongside the pork at the lower oven temp, stirring occasionally with a spoon until cooked and crispy.
Rolled pork belly with quince, pine nut and white pudding stuffing
- 2.5kg free-range pork belly, skin unscored, ribs out.
- Maldon sea salt
For the stuffing
- 2 medium brown onions, peeled and finely diced
- 3-4 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 2 cups firmly packed, fresh white breadcrumbs
- 15 large, fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- large handful fresh, flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 200g Dollard & Co white pudding, skin removed and very finely diced (should resemble coarse breadcrumbs – do this in
- a food processor if you like)
- 1 large quince, cored and finely grated
- 100g pine nuts
- 150g dried cranberries
- 80ml orange juice
- 1 tbsp Bunalun extra virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 240?C/gas mark 9.
- To make the stuffing, add all stuffing ingredients into a large mixing bowl and combine well, season generously with freshly ground black pepper and crushed sea salt.
- Lie pork belly on a clean chopping board, skin side up. Pat thoroughly with kitchen towel to dry the skin as much as possible.
- Using a very sharp knife or Stanley blade, score 1-2cm cuts longways into the skin, going just down to the flesh. Liberally coat scored skin with crushed Maldon sea salt, rubbing it really well into the cuts.
- Turn pork over skin side down and firmly pack the stuffing onto the pork flesh, roll up the pork and secure tightly at several intervals using butcher twine.
Place pork on a wire rack inside a large baking tin and roast for 30 minutes at 240?C/gas mark 9 before turning down to 180?C/gas mark 4 and continue to cook for a further 2 hours.
You can bake these as the pork is cooking. Add them into the oven 45 minutes to 1 hour before the pork is ready.
- 10 ripe black plums, cut in half, stones removed3 tbsp Bunalun apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp good quality pork
- 250ml water
- 2 small cinnamon sticks
- 2-3 star anise
- 1 heaped tbsp caster sugar
- Add the plums, vinegar, port, water, cinnamon sticks and star anise into a metal baking tray. Cover and bake in the oven until plums are very soft (depending on size of plums, 45 minutes to 1 hour).
- Remove plums and using a sieve, drain liquid into a small saucepan. Add sugar and bring to the boil then reduce and simmer until sauce is thickened. And glossy.
- Serve with the cooked plums and pork.
This article first appeared in the December 2018 issue of IMAGE Magazine.