Time again for our favourite pork cut, pork belly!
Early this year we bought an organic chili from the supermarket and kept the seeds, which we then planted. One of those seeds have now grown into a full plant that bears fresh chilis. Amazing! So, there are still some proper produce out there, which are able to reproduce themselves.
For the pork belly we picked one of our fresh and ripe chilis and used that together with a lemon and a clove of garlic. First we grated the zest off the lemon and then sliced the garlic, lemon as well as the chili into thin slices. Then we spread all of the ingredients out on the pork belly.
Before seasoning we chopped some carrots and spread out in the ramekin as a bed beneath the pork belly. This might look nice before it went into the oven, but wasn’t such a great idea after having been in the oven. The cooking time for pork belly is not the same as for carrots. So, not a worthwhile use of your carrots… Anyhow, it looks really nice for the “before” photos.
As usual we put the pork belly in the oven at semi-high temperature (roughly 175 °C) for almost two hours which renders it really juicy and crisp. The outermost skin can definitely be roasted tougher to soften even more, but then again it is a trade-off off time and temperature together with the result of the rest of the pork belly. With sufficient time at a slightly lower temperature (maybe 150 °C) it would be possible for the whole top of the belly to soften nicely and considering the amount of fat present there is not even the slightest risk of it getting dry. However, with a limited amount of time, which is too often the case the only other option is to go with a lot higher temperature and that is a thin line to walk to not burning it rather. So, we took the safe bet and aimed for a nicely cooked pork belly with a just slightly too crispy top. But with wonderful taste in any case.
As mentioned the carrots were a huge failure this time, but the rest turned out really well at least. We ate the pork belly with some brussel sprouts, steamed red cabbage and some leftover carrot and parsnip mash and a glass of red wine of course.
We have played around quite a bit with different seasonings of the pork belly, but somehow we always come back to chili. It is such a wonderful combination. Pork belly and chili. Do you have any favourite spices to go with your pork bellies?
Cecilia & Magnus