I have my Mother in Law visiting this week and this dish is a follow up to my instant pot pork chop with red cabbage dish and will be our Sunday ‘dinner’ this week, with there being just the two of us it is rare for us to roast a joint of meat but seeing as I love Roast Pork Belly I figured I better practice this dish… Now I couldn’t serve my Mother in Law a dish I hadn’t practiced in a while could I? So here it is, a dish that I don’t think could be more British if it tried, Roast Pork Belly, some red cabbage and a kick ass gravy, hell I even add some roast potatoes to give it the full British accent, I did forego the apple sauce though but it never worked on a dish with gravy for me personally.
An awful lot of people seem to struggle making a real roasting pan gravy, I can only assume it is impatience, the secret is making sure you reduce and keep on reducing by 2/3 to 3/4 of the original volume and then a load of butter to add richness and body, when you do that there should be no need for cornstarch or flour to thicken your gravy. It should take between 15-20 minutes, however a decent joint of roasted meat needs to rest for at least 15 minutes and best rested for 30 minutes so there is ample time. Well that’s my gravy anyway and the way I have always made it, although I was definitely ‘Bisto baby’ and all of the gravy I consumed growing up as a child would have come out of a packet, even roast pork belly would come with a beef gravy.
We have just one glorious week left of freedom from the garden and if the weather forecasts hold true we will be straight back into the garden preparing for planting the day after we put Julies Mum on the plane back home. Now right now I will tell you that it is an exciting time and I can’t wait, feel free to copy and paste this to me in 3-4 months time when I am complaining about feeling like an old man and endlessly moaning about the amount of work I have to do. Naturally I will not laugh it off I will just say that ‘Summer Brian’ thinks that ‘Winter Brian’ is a dick and in all honesty that is reciprocally true, once we get beyond two thirds through a season I am hankering for it to change again!
Crispy Roast Pork Belly With Red Cabbage
There is nothing as fine as piece of slow cooked roast pork belly with a crispy crackling, so I guess this goes down as real damn fine!
1kgPork BellyBone in skin on.
1TspBlack Pepper Corns.Coarsely Ground.
1TspCoarse Sea Salt.
1Large Onion.Cut into 1cm slices.
For the Red Cabbage
25mlRed Wine Vinegar.
1/2TspCoarse Sea Salt.
Good Grind Black Pepper.
For the 'Gravy'
Salt and Pepper.
Make sure you pork belly is at room temperature and the skin is dry before beginning.
Preheat your oven to 220°C.
Now score the skin of the pork in a cross hatch pattern with each cut around 1cm from the last.
When your oven is hot arrange the onion slices in a square the same size as your pork and place the pork on top, place in the oven for 30 minutes or until the skin begins to blister, you may need to turn the pork occasionally if your oven has hot spots.
When the skin is beginning to blister and crackle turn down the heat to 150°C and allow to cook for another 2 hours.
When you have about an hour and a half left before serving, heat a pan with the olive oil for the red cabbage and cook the cabbage until it softens over a medium to low heat which should take around 20 minutes.
Pour in the wine, honey, red wine vinegar and season, then reduce the temperature to low and allow to cook for an hour stirring occasionally.
When the pork is done remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
Now is the perfect time to make the gravy, pour off all but a scant covering of fat from the roasting pan and place over a high heat.
Pour in the cider scraping the pan as you go to deglaze, now pour in the chicken stock and reduce my two thirds.
When reduced pass through a fine mesh sieve and then enrich with the butter and taste for seasoning adding salt and pepper as required.
I also added some potatoes roasted in duck fat to this dish because I'm just that kinda guy 😀
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