Pork Belly

I bought this lovely piece of free range pork belly from Drings in Greenwich, who get all their pork from Blythburgh. It isn't quite as local as I'd like, what with them being based in Suffolk and all, but they have some really clear ideas about what they consider free range, and pigs are given time and space to mature before slaughter, tackling both animal welfare and taste issues in one fell blow.

My pork belly is also extra special for another reason. It has come with some added nipple nibble.



I decided to not inform Alex of the nipple in order to have a little fun. I am fairly sure he will not notice the extra appendage once I've seasoned and roasted the belly. He will no doubt scoff it all down as the scrummy crackling it will be, completely unhindered, provided that I don't mention it. At all. In fact I'm going to wait until this post goes live and let him discover over the course of reading this that you ate my favourite nipple! Who says I'm not thoughtful? He'd waste all that beautiful pig skin otherwise, and I know how I feel when I'm cheated out of crackling. I imagine the squeamish thoughts have trickled in now and he's probably having a little squirm thinking of all the prawns and nipples he's consumed. Mwahahahaha!

Anyway, enough with teat-based hi-jinks, back to the pork!

Roasted Pork Belly with Curried Greens and Thyme Rice
Serves 2-4

1 big lump of pork belly (Drings)
2 garlic cloves, minced (Greensmiths)
olive oil
1 table spoon or so of Chinese 5 Spice
Salt & Pepper
1 onion sliced (Kent Veg Box)
2 handfuls of greens, shredded (Kent Veg Box)
2 handfuls of spinach, shredded (Kent Veg Box)
1 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp caraway seeds
1/2 cup rice
1 cup water
1 tsp thyme


  1. Preheat oven to gas mark 8. Rub the oil, minced garlic, salt, pepper and Chinese 5 spice all over your gorgeous piece of meat. Lay it on top of a seasoned roasting tray on a bed of the sliced onion. Pop in the oven for 10 minutes, and then turn down to gas mark 5 for the remaining hour to 90 minutes.
  2. Pop rice, water, a little salt and the thyme into a steamer and steam for 20 minutes.
  3. 10 minutes before serving, heat a little oil in a pan and fry off the cumin, caraway and chili flakes, and then toss the greens and spinach through until soft, vibrant and well-coated.
  4. MUNCH LIKE YOU HAVE NEVER MUNCHED BEFORE!


Side note: the two of us were very full from dinner, I've just had a lunch of two belly ribs, one bloody delicious Kent Veg Box tomato, and one of my duck eggs- and I've still got enough pork belly left for another meal. A bloody cheap piece of meat really, but definitely one of my favourites.

Update:

Same meat, different dinner.

leftover pork belly  (Drings)
1-2 parsnips (Kent Veg Box- yes, I too was surprised to find parsnips in my veg box at the end of April)
2 garlic cloves (Greensmiths)
1/2 leek (Kent Veg Box)
1 tomato (Kent Veg Box)
oil
salt & pepper


  1. Pre heat oven to gas mark 5, place the pork in a tray and cover with foil. Pop in the oven for around 30-40 minutes.
  2. Peel and chop the parsnips and boil in salted water for 10 mins or until soft enough to mash. Mash with butter and milk and season.
  3. Chop the leek, tomato and garlic and fry in a little oil. Once softened, seperate the tomatoes and stir the leek and garlic through the mash whilst gently heating.
  4. Serve your man mountain.

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