Bork Belly in Brine with Cripsy Crackling

Cooking with Salt. Pork Belly in Brine with Crispy Crackling. Recipes, foodstyling, styling & photography by Manja Wachsmuth

PORK BELLY IN BRINE WITH CRISPY CRACKLING
Serves 4, as part of a main course

Nothing beats a properly done pork belly. This recipe brines the meat, ensuring a really nice flavour and crispy crackling. You can either do this in the oven or try it on the BBQ for a delicious meal on those long, bright summer nights.

1 kg Pork Belly, skin on
30 g Sea Salt Flakes
1 tsp Fennel Seeds
250 ml Water

Method Oven:
Score the skin of the pork belly in slices or squares. Be careful not to cut into the meat.
Place the pork belly in a non-reactive, deep-sided roasting dish. Rub the salt into the meat on both sides and leave for 30 minutes. Turn the belly so the skin is facing down, and then cover in enough cold water to submerge the meat. Cover tightly and place in the fridge for 24-48 hours.

Preheat the oven to 250º C.

Drain the brine from the pork belly and pat it dry all over with a paper towel. Make sure that the skin is completely dry, otherwise it won’t crackle. Rub the skin with a little olive oil and sprinkle with flaky sea salt and fennel seeds. Place the pork skin side up on a rack that fits in a roasting dish and roast in the oven for 45 min, or until the skin starts to crackle. Remove from the oven and reduce temperature to 180ºC. Pour water into the roasting dish, ensuring that the skin remains dry. Return to oven and cook for 1 hour and 15 min, until tender.

Remove from the oven, and leave to rest in a warm place for 15 min, before cutting the meat into square bites, or slices. Serve while hot.

Method BBQ:
Note, this is a guideline only. Correct cooking on bbq is highly dependent on a number of factors such as the size of the bbq, the type of coal / briquettes, the placement of the roast, etc. The most important thing to remember is to check the roast often and to turn the meat to ensure even cooking.

We have used a medium-sized kettle bbq with lid.

Fill two coal trays with briquettes (it is advantageous to use briquettes and not charcoal as they hold the heat longer) and place on each side of the BBQ, leaveing a space in the middle that the roast can sit over. Place a foil tray between the coal trays (underneath the roast), to catch meat juice so that it doesn’t drip into the embers, and either causes flames or makes the BBQ difficult to clean. Light the briquettes and put a rack over to cover the entire grill. Wait for the briquettes to burn down until they are fiery red, very hot and with quite a low flame.

Place the roast on the rack, skin side up, over the drip tray between the coal trays, and roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Check often.
Rotate the roast occasionally to make sure it is cooking evenly on all sides, and always position with the skin side up.

For crispy crackling, turn the roast sideways, with the cracklling facing one of the coal trays, a little closer to one of the trays to expedite the process, keep an eye out, it burns easily! The crackling is done when it’s bubbled up and crispy all over. Total cooking time approx. 1-1.5 hours. Remove the roast from the heat and rest for 15 minutes. Carve and serve while hot.

Cooking with Salt. Pork Belly in Brine with Crispy Crackling. Recipes, foodstyling, styling & photography by Manja Wachsmuth

This recipe is part of my salt story published in Matmagasinet Nord #23 2017, focusing on using salt as a main ingredient for cooking or flavouring. Try these recipes from this series too:
Blackberry Grav Lax
Salt & Vinegar Potato Skins
Salt Dough Baked Leg of Lamb

© Manja Wachsmuth 2017

Nordic Winter Fare

NZ House & Garden #238, 20th Anniversary Issue NZ House & Garden #238, 20th Anniversary Issue NZ House & Garden #238, 20th Anniversary Issue NZ House & Garden #238, 20th Anniversary Issue NZ House & Garden #238, 20th Anniversary Issue NZ House & Garden #238, 20th Anniversary Issue NZ House & Garden #238, 20th Anniversary Issue NZ House & Garden #238, 20th Anniversary Issue

Having just returned from a fabulous trip to Denmark, where the summer weather has been on it’s very best behaviour (and shooting lots of great food, you’ll see here on the blog later), it is a bit of a chok to get used to the grey, wet and cold New Zealand winter.
This reminded me of the Danish inspired winter dinner I shot for NZ House & Garden’s June issue (#238). It has all the essential recipes for an almost authentic Nordic winter fare, including a warming Mulled Wine, which will be perfect on a cold, wet and windy New Zealand winter evening. Thanks to NZ House & Garden, and Bernadette Hogg for letting me share this Mulled Wine (Gløgg) recipe.

Danish Mulled Wine (Gløgg)
Makes 1 litre, serves 6

1 bottle of good quality red wine
1 cup rum (port, brandy or sherry can be used)
1 tablespoon cardamom pods
1 cinnamon stick
8 whole cloves
3 strips of orange peel
1 piece of stem ginger in syrup, sliced
½ cup dark muscovado sugar
1 cup raisins
¼ cup sliced almonds

Place the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves, orange peel, ginger and sugar in with the wine, leave to stand for at least 4 hours or overnight if possible. While the wine is infusing, place the rum in a bowl with the raisins and leave to soak alongside the wine. Pass the rum and raisins through a sieve. Add the reserved rum to the wine mix. Before serving heat the wine mixture over a gentle heat, do not boil. Pour the wine mix through a sieve to remove the spices. Add the soaked raisins and almonds and serve warm.

Note: Gløgg can be cooled and reheated at a low temperature to serve later. If you find it easier the spices can be tied in a piece of muslin and simply removed before serving.

Drink responsibly!

Recipe © Bernadette Hogg. Styling by Claudia Kozub

Images shown from top left: Pork Roast with Baby Caramel Potatoes and Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage, Mulled Wine (Gløgg), Salted Caramel Baby Potatoes (Brunede Kartofler), Roasted Fennel and Lemon Pork Shoulder with Gravy (Flæskesteg med Fennikel og Brun Sovs), Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage (Rødkål), Rice Pudding with Cherry Sauce (Ris ala Mande med Kirsebær sauce), Marzipan & Nougat Chocolates (Konfekt af Marzipan og Nougat)