Roast pork belly with fennel and turnip

Roast pork belly with fennel and turnip

By
From
The Natural Cook
Serves
8
Photographer
Laura Edwards

Fennel and pork is a great combination. The sweet, subtle flavour of pork accepts and mimics the aniseed sweetness of the bulb.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Roast fennel with olive oil and lemon, assembled but not yet cooked
1kg thick end of pork belly, boned
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
6 garlic cloves
sprig thyme
500g turnips, each cut into 8 wedges
light olive oil
lemon slices, to serve

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C. Score the pork belly using your sharpest knife (I often ask my butcher to do this for me). Put it in a baking tray large enough to hold the turnips and fennel, too. Fifteen minutes before cooking, rub a generous pinch of coarse salt and the fennel seeds into the meat and the skin, getting into any nooks and crannies as this is where most of the flavour will penetrate into the meat.
  2. Put the pork in the oven for 15–25 minutes, or until the crackling is bubbling and crispy, allowing it to become a little dark if necessary; it’s worth it for a superior crackling. When the crackling is done, reduce the oven temperature to 170°C. Toss the raw fennel, garlic cloves, thyme and turnips in the oil and add to the baking tray.
  3. Roast for a further 35–45 minutes. The best way to check if the pork is cooked is with a temperature probe and I’d strongly recommend buying one. Push the probe into the thickest part of the meat. When it reaches a temperature of more than 73°C, it’s ready. If you don’t have a probe, stick a sharp knife into the thickest part of the meat and check the juices run clear with no trace of pink. If you’re really unsure, cut the meat and look inside: if it’s opaque and white, it’s cooked. Cover with foil and a tea towel and rest for at least 15 minutes in a warm place. (I serve it just warm.)
  4. To serve, slice the pork and serve with the vegetables, with lemon slices and a sprinkle of fennel fronds.

Storage

  • Both the pork and the fennel will keep really well in sealed containers in the fridge for up to four days and are nice hot or cold. Reheat in an oven preheated to 180°C, until piping hot right through. Both are scrumptious in a sandwich.
Tags:
The Natural Cook
Poco
Tom Hunt
sustainability
food cycle
vegetables
seasonal
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