Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Tomato Marinade Roast Pork Belly

For the baste I used a basic pasta sauce I often make, well it was actually the remainder of one I had made earlier, but I wanted to try this with the belly.

1 tin whole tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 small onion
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp mixed herbs
chilli flakes
2 tsp soy sauce
olive oil
75ml red wine
S & P to season

Pork Belly (Size depends on servings, 700g will feed 4 or 5)
Vegetables to roast
white wine

Heat oil and toss the finely chopped garlic and onion in. When this is golden throw all the herbs, soy, tomatoes and wine in. Give it a stir and bring to a simmer. Season and allow to reduce by ½ or more, quite thick is good. Really, cook as you would any rich tomato based pasta sauce, the more time you have, the better to reduce the liquid and intensify the flavours.

This part of the recipe can be prepared in advance and put in the fridge or freezer for later use.


It is desirable to get the Pork fat to crackle, how far you want the process to go is up to the cook. For a softer crunch you can reduce the length of high temperature cooking at the start of the roasting, keep an eye on it.

Reserve about a third of the marinade.  Use the rest on the meat.

You can scald the fat side with boiling water to assist the crackling process. Personally, I don't know that this is an absolute must, try it both ways! If you do scald it, dry well before continuing.  Rub down the heavily scored fat side with salt and olive oil, you can be fairly liberal with the salt. Work the marinade into the meaty side and rub a little into the fat side, though the salt is the main bit here. The whole piece can be placed in the fridge for several hours, overnight would be ideal. Before roasting a little more salt can be rubbed into the fat to ensure the crackling has crackle!

Roast in an oven at 220 C for 1/2hr (this depends on the oven and how crunchy you like the crackling) then turn the heat down to 165 for a further 1 ½ hours. 

At the point where the oven is turned down add Potatoes, carrots, sweet potato or your other favourite vegetables to roast in the pan.  (If you like these a little more crispy and crunchy, they can be put in at the very start of the roasting, but don't add the wine until you turn the oven down.) These should be cut into hearty, rustic slabs. I added white wine to the pan as well to keep it moist and form a sauce, with the wine put the rest of the marinade over the vegetables. The volumes depends on the pan, you want a good covering, but you don't want to swamp the meat. Cover* Take the lid off for the last 10-15min.

*I'd suggest using a roasting pan with a lid to make this easy, and it also has steaming effect, retaining moisture and delicacy.

Slice the belly and serve with the vegetables and some of the delicious sauce. I'd also suggest a green/garden salad on the side to counter the richness of the dish.

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