Roast pork belly with cherries

April 2021

Ingredients

Pork:

  • 2kg pork belly, skin on
  • 60ml red wine vinegar
  • Sea salt
  • 500ml vegetable oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Drizzle aged balsamic (optional)

Cherries:

  • 1 kg of cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • Sea salt

Method

 

Note: You can make it even simpler by forgoing the cherries and buying some quality mustard fruits and slicing them and serving with the pork.

Remove the pork from the refrigerator about 3 hours before cooking. Using a Stanley knife or razor blade, make cuts about 3mm apart in the skin of the pork from the top to the bottom, running in the same direction as the bones. Cut through the skin, but don’t go deep into the flesh. Using your fingers, rub the red wine vinegar into the pork skin then rub sea salt into the skin with a massaging action. Set the rack aside to dry.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the pork on a wire rack in a roasting tin and put in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 160C and cook for a further 30 minutes. At this stage, check the meat’s core temperature. It may need a little longer, so just keep checking the core temperature until it reaches about 71C. When done, remove the pork from the oven. Turn the oven down, or leave the door ajar, so the temperature drops to around 60C. Rest the meat in the oven for about 30 minutes. During this time the meat’s core temperature should rise to around 75C, but be sure to check.

Just before serving, heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan until just smoking. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and, with a spoon, pour the hot oil gently over the pork skin to complete the crackling. Be careful!

For the cherries: Place a fry pan over medium heat, add the butter and oil and melt the butter. When it starts to foam, add cherries and sugar, sprinkle with salt, toss and cook for about 10 minutes until the cherries start to soften and fall apart. Remove from heat. Keep warm, or serve at room temperature.

Place the pork on a chopping board and gently cut the meat into slices. Place a spoonful of cherries on each plate, place some slices of pork on top, sprinkle with sea salt, a good grind of pepper, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and a drizzle of quality aged balsamic.

Serve with:

  • Blanched green beans, refreshed in ice water, served as a salad with roasted and chopped macadamias.
  • Boiled corn on the cob drenched in butter and seasoned really well.
  • Roasted potatoes. Boil them first, cut roughly 2cm squares and then pan-fry them on top of the stove, with rosemary and crushed garlic. Sprinkle with sea salt.

 

Notes

Recipe by Neil Perry, Qantas Creative Director, Food and Beverage. Photography by Brent Winstone and styling by Vivien Walsh at Rockpool Bar & Grill Sydney.