Slow-roast pork belly with green pepper relish

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This slow-roast pork belly recipe from Anna Hansen offers a masterclass in cooking this unctuous cut of meat, ensuring both meltingly, tender flesh and perfect crackling. She offers two methods for preparing the pork - you can either brine the belly for 24-36 hours, or if you're short on time there's a 12 hour marinade option. Serve with some spinach or other leafy green veg along with a good dollop of this tangy pepper and apple relish.

First published in 2015




Pork belly

Green pepper relish (makes 2 jars)


  • Blender
  • Kilner jar


Score the skin of the pork belly as finely as possible to just cut through the surface into the fat, taking care not to go too deep with the blade. Ask your butcher to do this for you if you are unsure
Place the salt, star anise, paprika, fennel seed and bay leaves in a tub big enough to hold the belly comfortably. Add enough water to cover the meat, whisk to dissolve the salt then add the pork belly skin-side down. Place the tub in the fridge to brine for 24-36 hours
Alternatively, add the spices and bay leaves to a coffee grinder and blitz until combined. Mix with 3 tablespoons of salt, rub over the belly and leave to marinate for 12 hours
Once ready to roast, preheat the oven to 140°C/gas mark 1
Take the belly out of the brine or marinade, rinse under cold water and pat dry. Arrange the potatoes in the roasting tin and top with the pork belly with the skin facing up. Add 200ml of water to the bottom of the dish and roast for 1 1/2-2 hours. The timing will depend on how thick the belly is, so test the meat to check if it is cooked - push a fork into the flesh, it should be nice and tender and come away easily
Meanwhile, for the relish, chop the apple roughly and blitz with the green pepper, ginger, onion and garlic in batches until you have a rough purée. Add the purée to a heavy-based saucepan with the chillies, vinegar, fish sauce and sugar
Place on a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for approximately 40 minutes, stirring regularly so the chutney doesn't catch. Once it has reached a jam-like consistency, remove from the heat and ladle into sterilised jars to cool. Store until required
Once the pork is cooked, increase the oven temperature to 200°C/gas mark 6 and cook for an extra 8-10 minutes so the crackling bubbles up nicely
If you are having trouble with the crackling, simply add a splash of oil to a hot heavy-based frying pan and add the pork skin-side down, making sure you press down evenly to get the entire surface well-crackled. Once you are happy with the crackling, leave the pork to rest for 15 minutes. Slice and serve with the chutney and your choice of greens
First published in 2015

Whether you call it 'fusion', 'global' or 'basically indescribable' is beside the point; Anna Hansen's food is without a doubt fresh and adventurous - you might even call it modern.

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