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Roast Belly Pork with Root Vegetables Recipe

For the belly pork

• 3lb 15½oz/1.8 kg pork belly, with the skin left on

• 1 whole garlic, sliced in half

• 4 tbsp cider vinegar

• 3 tbsp pork dripping or butter

• 8 bay leaves, crushed
For the root vegetables

• 6 whole shallots

• 4 parsnips, cut into long wedges

• 14¼oz /400g carrots

• 3 sprigs fresh thyme •

2oz /55g spinach

• 1 tbsp olive oil
How to prepare

1.    Start this recipe the night before. Pour boiling water over the pork skin (this should give you better crackling) and then discard the water.

2.    Baste the raw joint with cider vinegar, making sure the vinegar gets into the rind. Then place the joint on a plate in the fridge. Leave it there, uncovered, overnight.

3.    The next day, remove the pork from the fridge and spread it with the pork dripping (or butter), as well as the halved garlic and the crushed bay leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, before setting aside for the flavours to develop.

4.    Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

5.    Set the pork skin-side up on a wire rack that sits over an empty roasting tray. Roast for one hour before reducing the oven temperature to 180C/350F/Gas 4.

6.    Place the carrots, parsnips and shallots at the bottom of a separate roasting tray; add the olive oil, the thyme and a glass of water.

7.    Take out the tray that has been in the oven beneath the pork and pour any fat that has gathered in the bottom of that tray over the vegetables; now place the vegetables’ tray underneath the pork.

8.    Roast for a further hour, occasionally basting the vegetables with the juices from the pork in the bottom of the tray.

9.    Remove the pork from the wire rack and allow to rest for about 15 minutes in a warm place.

10.    Toss the spinach leaves with the vegetables from the roasting pan. Then drain off any fat, leaving the cooking juices behind.

11.    Carve off the crackling. Serve the pork with the gravy and the roasted root vegetables.

Eat & enjoy,