Caucasian Curry

Caucasian Curry

Rolled and Roasted Pork Belly with Fresh Herbs


seasoned, rolled and slow roasted.

unctuous crispy porky goodness.

super easy, no fail pork belly roll.  i've done it twice...once with the savory aromatics and once with brown sugar and chipotle.  each belly requires a little different cooking method and time due to the size and shape of the meat.  this one was done half way in the dutch oven, then moved to a roasting rack.  i suppose the total cooking could be done on the rack, but i wanted to maintain as much moisture as possible and i didn't want the outside to get burnt...this was a very small belly.
this double cooking method produced a moist unctuous pork belly with crispy skin right out of the oven.  it's also delicious served sliced and seared to top off the ultimate burger or layered in a nice hot-off-the-grill panini....oh, maybe a fried egg on top for breakfast?
  anyway you serve it you can't go wrong when pork belly is involved.
don't forget to serve with those delicious rosemary wine pork fat  caramelized onions.

first poke holes all over with metal skewer.  then score skin with a box cutter, as shown.
mise en place your add-ins to make things easier and lower cross contamination. 
 evenly distribute salt, pepper, herbs and thin onion.  then roll and tie.  you might want an extra pair of hands to help get a nice tight roll.  as you can see i did use one tie to hold in the ends.
thick onion as a base with shallow wine and chicken stock...covered for the first hour, uncovered 2nd hour. 
move to roasting rack for another hour or until fork tender, at 325F convection...then crank the oven to 430F and keep a watchful eye 'til skin is crispy.  

with fresh herbs

2 lbs, pork belly with skin
(choose a meaty-flatter piece if possible)
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
3-4 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
about 1/4 onion very thin sliced
1 tsp kosher salt for the inside.
fresh ground pepper
more salt for the outside.

FOR THE DUTCH OVEN if using for the first hour.
2 small white onions, sliced thick
6-8 cloves garlic
a few sprigs rosemary
1/3 cup white wine.
approx. 1/4 cup chicken broth
note...liquids according to size dutch oven.  liquid should not touch the pork roast.  approx. 1/2 inch will do.
preheat oven to 320F
wash the belly and make sure there are no lingering stray hairs.  dry it well.  poke holes in the skin all over with a sharp skewer, as shown.  score the skin with a box cutter, as shown.  with skin side down, dress the meat side with salt and pepper.  mine took about 1 tsp salt...i had a rather small piece.  sprinkle herbs and lay out some thin slices of onion, as shown.  get your string cut and ready.  roll the belly.  it's easier if you have a friend help with this to get it tight. if it doesn't work well one way, go a head and try the other end first.  stuff will fall out, but don't worry.  i used three strings going around and one string holding the ends in.  pork belly can protrude in strange directions and i wanted a nice tight roast.  
dry the outside with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

this step might not be necessary, but i started in a dutch oven....
i think it helped cook the roast for a while in a nice moist environment.  and it made some delicious rosemary wine onions that were later caramelized when roasting.
put the thick slices of onion and the garlic cloves in the bottom of a dutch oven with a few rosemary sprigs.  lay the roast on top.  add the wine and enough chicken stock to just cover the onions, not touching the pork belly (example photo).
put in the oven covered for 1 hour.  then uncovered for the next hour.
now take the roast out and put it on a rack.  or an aluminum covered tray with the onions underneath (example photo).  i turned the convection on.  roast for 1 more hour.  poke it and see if it is really fork tender.  fork tender all the way through.  you be the judge.  it is very hard to over cook a pork belly.  when fork tender turn the oven up to 430F convection and watch until the skin gets crisp, but not burnt.
take it out and let it rest for about 20 minutes
remove strings and slice with a very sharp knife.

OR...for a delicious warm thick slice on a big burger or sandwich...
cool completely before storing.  i like to wrap in parchment inside a tupperware and lay the cover on...not snapped shut.  the cut roast photos were taken the next day and the skin was still crispy.
i like to rewarm in a medium heat skillet with a touch of butter on both sides.

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