Slow Roast Belly Pork

Slow roasting takes very little of your time or attention. Put this on first thing in the morning to have ready at lunch, or start it at lunch time for supper. All morning or afternoon you can ignore it.

Ingredients

  • 1.5 kg / 3 lb bone-in belly pork
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 6 pepper corns
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 glass(ish) white wine (vary depending how much juice you end up with)

You get a bit more of the tastiest meat next to the bone if you use pork with the bones still in. However it is a bit more fiddly to serve so you could use boneless: if so reduce the weight a bit. Ask the butcher to score the skin finely. Find a pan into which you can only just cram the pork. This is important because The pork shrinks considerably. If there is too much exposed pan, the juice will dry up and burn.

Pre-heat the oven to 230 C (gas Mark 8). Slice the onions and carrots thinly and put in the bottom of the pan with the bay leaf and the peppercorns. Squeeze the pork into the pan on top of the veg. Roast at this high heat for 20-30 minutes until the skin looks well crackled. If you want as little to do later as possible use this time to peel or scrub some potatoes, leaving them in a pan of cold water.

When you are happy with the crackling, turn the heat right down to 110 C (you may need to experiment a bit with a gas oven). Now it is time for a morning's work or 18 holes of golf. Cooking time is very flexible: four hours is a minimum, six ideal, eight or more no real problem. The timing should suit you. If are around you can do some extra veg such as roast parsnips, but not if it interferes with your day.

When you are ready put the potatoes on to boil. Put some cabbage on slightly later. Take the meat off the veg and keep warm. Skim off most of the fat from the pan. Sprinkle the flour over veg and juices, then stir over a low heat until it starts to bubble and thicken. Add the wine, then bring to the boil and simmer for five minutes or so. Strain into a warm jug.

Slip the bones (if present) from the meat, not missing the jelly-like cartelage that runs at an angle to the end of the ribs. It will all pull out easily, but it can be a bit hot and greasy! Cut the pork into chunks and serve with the boiled potatoes and cabbage. Pass the juice round.