Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tuscan Roast Pork

I mentioned that I received a beautiful cookbook from my gorgeous friend Bernie for my birthday when we cooked Rioja Chicken a little while ago and to be honest the book hasn't made it to the bookshelf yet - in fact it hasn't left the kitchen.  The cookbook is ABC's Delicious - Love To Eat and if you get a chance to get a copy I would encourage you to do so.  It is one of the better cookbooks I have read and used in such a long time.

This is the second time that we have cooked the Tuscan Pork.  The recipe as written has two components - one being the pork and the other being Mustard Fruits.  I am going to confess to having only cooked the pork as I do not believe that any of the family would try let alone enjoy the Mustard Fruits so I haven't even bothered with making them.  If anyone would like the recipe though please contact me and I can email it to you.

The fascinating thing about this recipe which actually goes against everything that I have learnt about cooking pork is that the whole piece of pork belly is marinated including the much treasured skin or the crackle.  Every other recipe will state you must keep the skin dry, do not get the skin wet, pat down with paper towel to ensure it's dry, it won't crisp up if the skin is wet, etc.  Well not this recipe... and it does crisp up producing a fantastic rosemary and fennel infused crackle.

Marinading the pork belly doesn't come any easier than this either.  A combination of fresh rosemary and fennel seeds mixed with olive oil and lemon seasoned with salt - it is simply that easy.  As decadent as this sounds it is one of the easiest marinades but it's by far one of the tastiest.  You can definitely not match the flavour of fresh rosemary or the slight aniseed flavour of the fennel.   Yet together they taste amazing.

We adore the flavours of this pork belly recipe.  Is it our favourite?  Yes definitely.

Tuscan Roast Pork
(Recipe adapted from Delicious - Love To Eat)

Serves: 6 - 8

2 tablespoons finely chopped rosemary
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon sea salt flakes
2 tablespoons olive oil

Ensure pork rind is scored to your liking.

Combine rosemary, fennel, lemon zest, salt and oil in a bowl then rub all over the pork. 

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Prior to cooking remove pork belly from fridge and sit at room temperature for approx 30 minutes to take the chill of the pork.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius.

Place the pork, skin side up, on a roasting rack over a roasting pan.  Fill pan with 2cm water.  Roast pork for 30 minutes.

Reduce heat to 180 degrees Celsius and cook for a further 2 hours, topping up water if necessary.  Remove from the oven and site aside to rest, loosely covered with foil.

Slice pork and serve.

(Click here for a printable version of this recipe)

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