Pork belly or ‘side’ is just as it sounds – it is on the pig´s side, behind and below the ribs. The ribs that can be cut from the side are called spare ribs. Belly responds well to slow, patient cooking and the result is a tender meat that melts in the mouth, which you can serve straight away or cut into thick slices to crisp on the grill. If you want to add even more flavour, glaze with honey or sauce. It is also possible to roast or BBQ a whole pork belly – this can take some time but the result is worth the wait – if you have the BBQ skills! Another idea is to take a pork belly and cover with herbs and spices, roll up and cook like Italian roast pork (porchetta). Pork belly is a rich cut and can withstand high temperatures without drying out.
Flodins cookings tips Italian pork belly porchetta
- ’Butterfly’ the side of pork by cutting through and folding out to make a piece twice as wide.
- Place skin side down and season well with salt and pepper.
- Spread with coarsely chopped dried apricots, roughly chopped bacon (or smoked meat), minced garlic, grated ginger and chopped fresh herbs.
- Roll up and tie with string to make a long roll, then score the skin in a criss-cross pattern with the tip of a sharp knife and place in a roasting dish.
- Put the rolled up belly into a pre-heated oven, skin up and roast at 275°C for few minutes until the skin is golden.
- Pour a few cups of apple juice over the meat, reduce the temperature to 125°C and roast for another 2.5-3 hours.
- Serve with potato gratin and a green salad.