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Serves quite a few I’d say, maybe 4-6 depending on how hungry you are. But you can adapt it to the quantities of pork you have.

1.5-2 kg Pork belly

10 Juniper berries

1-2 tsp Fresh Rosemary needles, chopped (don’t even think about using dried!)

3 Cloves of Garlic, peeled

1 tsp Fine Sea Salt

If your butcher hasn’t done it for you (and frankly it’s much easier if he/she does, though it’s less fun) score the skin of the pork all over.

Mash all the marinade ingredients together in a pestle & mortar (or you could chop them all up with a big knife)  in the order above, making sure they’re well, er, mashed.

Loosen the mix with 1 or 2 tbsp of decent olive oil & rub into the skin of the pork very, very well. Paying particular attention to nooks & crannies.

Now, you could leave this to marinade overnight, or at the least for a couple of hours.

We didn’t.

But if you did, the flavour would be even better!

Roast (on a rack if you have one, though not essential) in a pretty hot oven, 200-230°c for 1/2 an hour. This gets a good bit of crackling going.

Check after 15 mins or so if you’re not too familiar with your oven. Nothing worse than burnt skin! (there’s no going back) You can always turn it up if it’s not hot enough.

Turn the heat down after 1/2 hr to 180-200°c for another 1 hour or so until the juices run clear when poked with a knife/skewer/sword. The beauty of this dish (and almost any roasted pork belly dish) is that it’s nearly impossible to overcook. Leaving you plenty of time to prepare any veg to go with it. I recommend my cabbage with bacon & rosemary, celeriac & potato mash and HF-W’s apple sauce (obviously!) But it’s good with almost any sort of potato & greens combo.

Pork was from the Well-Hung Meat company & quite outstanding. Cooked on a damp, very windy November evening. Which was just as well, ‘cos it helped to clear the smoke out of the kitchen!


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