As a recipe developer, I absolutely don't post recipes until I'm happy with them and think they're utterly delicious. To be honest though, there are delicious recipes, and then there are really, truly, amazing recipes that I'm absolutely chuffed with...and this is one of those recipes, I'm so excited!
Many moons ago, I read about this method of cooking pork belly that does not require scoring and your piece of pork ends up lovely and crackly. It involves a thick layer of cooking salt on the rind and, oh my goodness, it works an absolute treat! The result is not salty at all but definitely crunchy, with the added bonus of being easy to cut through even into squares just like the photo at the top of this post.
As a side to the belly, with peaches still in the markets, I thought to roast these good things with a little balsamic and rosemary. Such a simple addition to a roast pork meal, the balsamic peaches were the perfect way to cut through the richness of the pork and add a little colour to this summery meal. You can easily roast them up and also serve them on a cheese platter or even on a salad with plenty of peppery greens and goats cheese or feta...yum!!
As always, please share your recreations of any MCK recipe on socials and don't forget to tag @mummascountrykitchen so we can see it!
Much love, happy cooking!!
Preparation time: 15 minutes plus refrigeration time
Cooking time: 90 minutes
For the pork belly:
- 1.8kg - 2kg pork belly, unscored
- 1 cup full fat milk
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- Dozen dashes freshly ground black pepper
- 1 head garlic, halved horizontally
- 1 cup cooking salt
For the peaches:
- 3 whole peaches, halved and pitted
- 25g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- Fresh rosemary sprigs, to garnish (if desired)
- Pat dry the pork belly and leave uncovered in the fridge to completely dry out for at least 4 hours or, preferably, overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Completely line a shallow baking tray with foil and then baking paper (to make clean up so much easier). Combine the milk, ginger, fennel seeds and black pepper in a small bowl or jug and then pour it into the baking dish. Gently pull apart the head of garlic and place the cloves around the tray.
- Place the pork directly into the milk, taking care not to wet the rind. Pour the salt over the dry rind and pat into a smooth and even layer. Pop into the oven to roast for about 50 minutes or until the salt layer completely dries up.
- After that time, take the tray out of the oven and up the heat to 220C. Carefully lift the salt layer off the pork and wipe the excess salt. Pop a wire cooling rack into the tray and place the pork on the rack to allow the drippings to fall into the tray. Pop back in the oven to roast for a further 40 minutes or until a lovely layer of crackling has formed. Allow to sit for about 10 minutes.
- In the meantime make the balsamic peaches by placing the butter in a tray that will fit snugly fit the peach halves. Pop the tray in an 180C oven to melt the butter. Take the tray out of the oven and pop in the peach halves, cut side down in the butter. Roast for 10 minutes or until almost tender.
- Take the tray out of the oven and add the balsamic, rosemary, salt and pepper. Swish the pan about to coat the peaches before placing back in the oven to roast for a further 7-8 minutes or until the peaches are cooked through.
- To serve, cut the pork into portions to ensure everyone gets a piece of the delectable crackling and place on the serving platter. Cut the peach halves in half, add to the serving platter and garnish with a sprig or two of rosemary...oh, and don't forget to reserve the pan juices from the roasted peaches to drizzle over the fruit. Serve immediately with a fresh green salad on the side.