Thank you to my wonderful friend Luke for this marvelous recipe.
Serves 6-8 people depends how hungry you are.
1.8kg piece pork belly, scored
Several bay leaves
8 large potatoes, such as Dutch creams
2 tbsp salt flakes
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp black peppercorns
2 large brown onions, sliced thickly without peeling
1 large fennel bulb, thickly sliced lengthways into wedges
8 small apples, scored around the middle
Cup of water
- Put the pork, bay leaves and pinch of salt in a large pan and cover with water. Simmer for 1.5 hours, drain and pat dry with paper towel. Put the pork between 2 baking sheets and weigh down with baking dishes and a brick. Refrigerate pork overnight.
- Cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 15 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut each potato into 3 thick slices through the middle and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 220C. Put the extra salt flakes, fennel seeds and peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or grinder, (grind the peppercorns first) then the fennel seed and salt into a course mix. Rub this paste over the pork. Lay the onion and fennel in the base of a baking dish. Put the pork on top. Surround the pork with the potatoes and apples. Pour in the water, drizzle all over with the olive oil and rub in. Roast for 1 hour. If the apples become too brown during cooking, remove them from the dish and keep warm.
- Increase the oven temp to 250C. Cook the pork for another 10 minutes until the crackling is very crisp, or crisp it under the griller. Take it out of the oven turn it face down to see the ribs and cut it into thick slices between the ribs.
NOTE: I take the pork belly out of the fridge for at least 2 hours before roasting on the second day.