Jo’s Roast Pork Belly with Coriander Pesto

I have never managed to succeed with pork crackling, and especially not with pork belly crackling. But now that my butcher has given me this method, I’ve “cracked” it two or three times. The guests are impressed! And with this Coriander Pesto, some roast potatoes, and an apple and avocado salad, it’s a big hit.

Jo’s Roast Pork Belly with Coriander Pesto (for 6 people)

1.2kg pork belly, well scored. (I tend to use my kitchen Stanley knife to make sure the skin is scored where I would like to cut it into neat serves. Pork crackling is not easy to cut into neat portions otherwise).
1 tsb lemon juice
Plain flour

Score the pork belly to your liking, wipe dry and place in the fridge uncovered overnight to dry the skin
Heat the oven to 220 degrees
Put the pork belly into a baking dish (lined with baking paper for easy cleaning afterwards)
Brush over with lemon juice, sprinkle with fine salt and sprinkle with plain flour (I use the tea strainer to get an even fine sprinkle)
Put into the hot oven for 40 minutes, then cover and turn the oven down to 130 degrees for a couple of hours. I like to do it slowly, so the meat is very tender

Meanwhile, make the Coriander Pesto

1 bunch coriander
1 spring onion
1 large garlic clove crushed
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp chopped chilli
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup vincotto

Pop it all into the kitchen whiz and blend until smooth.
Half an hour before serving turn the oven up to 200 degrees (this allows you to crisp up any potatoes you might be serving with the pork, and also gives the crackling another hit).

When ready to serve heat the griller and pop the pork, in the baking dish under the grill. The crackling will literally “burst”. Don’t let it sit under the griller – it really happens very quickly, and you don’t want it to burn.

To serve, cut into serving-size pieces. Pop a tablespoon of coriander pesto on each plate and place the pork beside it, along with baked potatoes. Serve with apple and avocado salad.

About Robert

Robert’s introduction to jazz came in his late teens with visits to the El Rocco Club, Sydney’s premier jazz venue of that era. One of the main attractions was Mike Nock’s Three Out Trio, often playing original works and setting a new direction for Australian jazz. It was a thrilling scene & defined Robert’s life long interest in contemporary jazz.

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