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Image / Living / Food & Drink

Your Christmas menu starts with this rolled pork belly


by Meg Walker
02nd Dec 2018
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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

Ingredients
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

Method
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.

 

Spiced Plums
You can bake these as the pork is cooking. Add them into the oven 45 minutes to 1 hour before the pork is ready.

Ingredients
10 ripe black plums, cut in half, stones removed
3 tbsp Bunalun apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp good quality port
250ml water
2 small cinnamon sticks
2-3 star anise
1 heaped tbsp caster sugar

Method
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.

 

Feature direction by Lizzie Gore-Grimes. Recipes, food photography and stationery design by Katie Quinn, katiequinnphotography.com. Photography assistant and digi op: Donal Murtagh. Styling by Orla Neligan, cornershopproductions.squarespace.com. Assisted by Aoife Challis. Flowers by Julieanne Walsh of Paper Rock Flower, paperrockflower.com. Food provided by Dollard & Co, dollardandco.ie, with huge thanks. Extra ingredients supplied by Bunalun Organic, nationalorganic.com. With big thanks to Aoibhne Hogan and Ellen Bird.

 

 

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