Belly Pork with Celeriac Mash and Green Vegetables
Slow cooked, with its crisp rind, salty fat layer, then layers of darker meat and lighter meat, pork is delicious and a fantastic paleo source of protein and energy. The trick is slow cooking.
Let's cook some belly pork ...
Heat up your oven as high as it will go - mine goes up to 250C. That is a good starting point.
Prepare the belly pork by scoring the skin with a sharp knife or razor blade. Rub a generous amount of pure sea salt into the cracks. I use Maldon brand.
Place the belly pork with the skin side up onto a cooking rack over an overproof tray and drizzle just a little extra virgin olive oil over the skin.
Put the tray into the oven and close the door. Cook on that high heat for up to 30 minutes, until the skin is crackling up. If it has not done this within half an hour, don't worry ... we'll sort that out at the end. The pork will spit and crackle, explode even. Don't open the oven - leave it!
After the skin has crackled up or half an hour has passed, pour in a litre of water into the tray - this will help keep the pork really juicy.
Turn the temperature down to between 90C and 120C. Lower is better, but will require longer. On 120C cook for 3 hours, 100C for 4 and at 90C you can leave it in all day. The longer it is cooked, the better!
Whenever you are ready to eat simply prepare some vegetables. Celeriac and daikon mash is a great accompaniment, as is tenderstem broccoli and some cabbage.
If the skin has not crackled up, switch the grille on full and keep a close eye on the process so that the top does not burn.
Retrieve the pork from the oven and let it rest for a few minutes while you make a gravy from the juices in the tray. There will be a lot of fat in there, so pour the liquid into a more cylindrical container to skim off the floating fats. The remaining juices should be returned to the tray and heat up while you bring all the colour and flavour off the base of the tray. Thicken with a little arrowroot.
Plate up - vegetables first and then the gorgeous slices of belly pork, pouring the gravy over last. Cutlery is for vegetables, fingers are for meat! Get in there and get it in you belly!