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Sunday, 7 August 2011

Rolled Pork Belly Stuffed With Almond, Date and Parsley

This only took about 5 minutes to make the stuffing and about 5 minutes to roll the belly. The fat rendered almost completely out of the meat , basting itself as it did and, as the scored skin was stretched due to the act of being rolled, it created very even crackling. Any flavour combinations you can think of that should work, will work eg; macadamia and sage, mushroom and bacon, basil and tomato etc etc. I did use some feta oil in this recipe to bind it, if you do not have it though just use another kind eg extra virgin, garlic oil or oven roasted tomato oil.

1 piece of pork belly (about 2kg)
1 handful almonds
1 handful dates, chopped
3 cloves garlic peeled
1/2 bunch parsley
1/2 tbs porcini salt
1 cup breadcrumbs (I used Panko)
1 tbs feta oil
Olive oil
3 tsp sugar
1 cup wine
1 cup stock
Kitchen string
Roasted vegetables
Sugar snaps

Preheat an oven to 150C. Place the almonds, garlic, parsley and dates into a blender and blitz. Combine the almond mix in a bowl with the porcini salt, breadcrumbs, feta oil and pepper.
Pat the pork belly dry with paper toweling on both sides. With a sharp knife, score the skin. Lay the pork belly skin side down, length ways away from you on a cutting board. Spoon the mixture evenly over 1/2 of the meat, starting at the end closest to you. Cut a piece of kitchen string about 70 - 80cm long. Roll the pork belly over the stuffing tightly toward the non-stuffed end. Secure one end of the newly rolled pork belly tightly with a knot the begin to tie the meat. Oil the outside of the rolled pork belly, sprinkle on some salt and massage it in. Push any stuffing that has popped out back in then place in a lightly oiled roasting dish. Bake in the oven for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, crank the heat to 220C and baste the pork belly with some of the rendered fat. After 30 mins remove the pork belly (it should be crispy) to a clean plate and cover with foil. Pour off any excess fat and place the roasting tray on the stove top. Sprinkle the sugar into the tray and turn the heat to high. When the sugar starts to take some colour, deglaze the pan with the wine, scrapping up any cooked bits. Add the stock and any resting juice from the pork and reduce to your desired consistency. 
Serve with roasted vegetables and sugar snap peas. 

A bread knife makes short work of pork crackling

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