Crackling Pork Belly
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- 3 to 4lb pork belly, bones removed, skin intact and finely scored
- - For the rub
- 3 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons light soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- a lightly heaped teaspoon Chinese five-spice powder
- - For the peach salsa
- 2 scallions
- 1 small red chili pepper
- 3 peaches
- 8 cherry tomatoes
- juice of 2 limes
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- A few sprigs of cilantro
- For the rub, peel and crush the garlic to a paste, stirring in the soy, dried chili flakes, peanut oil, salt and five-spice powder. Spread this paste over the skin and underside of the pork belly. Leave it to marinate in a glass dish for 4 hours to 12 hours.
- When the pork has marinated, preheat the oven to 425F. Place the pork in a roasting tin then cook, skin-side up, for about 20 minutes. Lower the heat to 375F and continue cooking for a further 40-50 minutes, or until the skin is dark and crisp. Leave for 10 minutes to rest, and then carve.
- Meanwhile, to make the peach salsa, trim and finely chop the scallions, finely chop the chili, peel, stone and finely chop the peach and halve the tomatoes. Mix gently then dress with the lime juice, cilantro, and the olive oil.
- Serve the ribs with the peach salsa on the side.
- Ask your butcher to score the skin finely for this as the crackling is essential. The first brief roasting at the higher temperature is essential to set the skin on the route to crispness. These ribs are not sweet and sticky but lightly crisp.