Goan-style roast pork belly

Goan-style roast pork belly

By
From
Anjum's Quick & Easy Indian
Serves
6
Photographer
Lisa Linder

A delicious combination of flavours. I was taught this recipe by a Goan, Russ D’Costa, who pot-roasted his pork belly. He had mentioned making a caramel somewhere in the middle and adding it to the pan… which he then forgot as we chatted. I was imagining the sticky sweet, spiced results and waited patiently until the very end when he admitted his mistake. However, the pork was so fantastic, spicy, tangy and flavourful that I don’t see how the sweetness would have added anything. My version is roasted in the oven for ease and for the lovely crackling. Serve it with mash, or Goan Tomato Rice or Goan Coconut Rice, or just with a simple salad such as Lightly Spiced Salad of Celeriac with Capers.

For the pork

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1.2kg belly of pork
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seeds, lightly roasted, then ground
1 tablespoon maple syrup, (optional)

For the marinade

Quantity Ingredient
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 fat garlic cloves
15g root ginger, peeled weight, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon chilli powder
3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 scant teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red or white wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced

Method

  1. The night before cooking – or at least the morning before a supper – score the skin of your belly of pork with a sharp knife at 1cm intervals, or ask your butcher to do so. Place it on a trivet in the sink, skin-side up, and pour a kettle of boiling water over the top (this helps to make the crackling crisp up). Pat dry with kitchen paper.
  2. Place the pork on a board, skin-side down and, using a fork, pierce the meat aggressively all over the flesh and sides – but not the skin – to help the marinade to penetrate. I pierce around 40–50 times in all.
  3. Blend together all the ingredients for the marinade with 2 tbsp of water until smooth (I use a hand-held blender), then rub it all over the flesh, leaving the skin free of marinade.
  4. Place the pork, skin-side up, in a roasting tray in which it fits snugly. Place in the fridge (unwrapped so that the skin can dry out) overnight, or for at least a good five to six hours, making sure all the marinade is on the underside.
  5. When you’re ready to cook, return the meat to room temperature and preheat the oven to 150°C. Mix together the 3⁄4 tsp of salt and the ground fennel seeds, sprinkle evenly over the skin and rub in well. Pour 240ml of water into the tray with the pork (it should not come up to the skin) and place it in the centre of the oven. Cook for two and a half hours. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C and cook for a final 30 minutes, checking the water every 10 minutes and adding a splash more if it dries up.
  6. Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to rest for 15–20 minutes, covered in foil. Spoon off any excess fat from the tray, then taste and adjust the seasoning of the juices, adding the maple syrup if you like, and reducing them over a medium heat if they seem too thin. Serve the pork with the remaining pan juices; there won’t be a lot but what remains will be intense.
Tags:
quick
easy
simple
fast
Indian
Anjum
Anand
midweek
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