Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sunday Roast: Slow Roast Belly of East Cork Pork with Garlic & Rosemary

When it comes to roasting pork, my grandmother's voice rings in my head, "roast it low and slow", which is exactly how to roast succulent roast belly of pork. Slow roasting, on a low heat, will leave you with the most crisp, succulent and tender crackling you are ever likely to taste.

The thick, crisp cracking covers a moist and flavoursome belly of pork, which will fall off your carving knife as you serve Sunday lunch. The difficult part is not in the cooking, but in sourcing a really good quality pork belly, but any crafted butcher will be able to source a prime pork belly.

Shopping List:

- 1.5kg (ask the butcher to score the belly).
- 3 Sprigs of rosemary (finely chopped).
- 4 Cloves garlic (peeled and halved).
- Irish Atlantic Sea-salt & Freshly Ground Pepper.
- Olive Oil.
- 3 Large sweet potatoes (cut at equal sizes).
- 6 Irish onions quartered.


1. Finely chop the rosemary, place with the garlic in a pestle mortar, add 4 generous tbsp of olive oil to form a paste. Rub the paste into the scored pork belly, ensuring to brush the scores deep with the paste.

2. Leave to rest for 4hrs-6hrs or ideally over-night so that the pork belly can marinate in the paste.

3. Pre-heat the oven to 220c, transfer the pork belly skin-side-up, to a deep roasting tray and cook for 20 minutes. Take the pork belly out of the oven, place your onions and potatoes on the bottom of the tray. Rest the pork on top of the vegetables and cook for 2 - 2 ½ at 150c.

4. After the second hour, your pork crackling will be beautiful and brown but if you feel it is becoming too brown, place a piece of foil over it for the remaining 30mins. The pork is done when the juices run clear. Allow the pork belly to rest for 10mins before serving. Keep the vegetables warm until ready to serve.

5. De-glaze the tray pouring the pork juices into a jug and use for gravy.

Homemade Wholegrain Apple Sauce:

Shopping List:

- 2 Large Cooking Apples (Peeled, Cored and Diced).
- 50g Caster Sugar.
- 3-4 Tbsp Water.
- 1 Tsp Wholegrain Mustard.


1. Place the cooking apples and water into a heavy bottomed saucepan over a gentle heat before covering the pan. Stir the apples at regular intervals with a wooden spoon until they form a pulp.

2. Once the apples have formed into a pulp, add in half the sugar. Taste and add in the remaining sugar if needed depending on the apples. Add in the wholegrain mustard if using. Serve.

Fancy a chat about this recipe? Email Dermie.
Images Copyright by Neil Danton.