I spent time in the Test Kitchen prepping and cooking a beautiful slab of pork belly this Easter weekend just gone. I followed the Jamie Oliver recipe/method and honestly, it turned out exquisitely!
I started out by doing like Jamie Oliver suggests, I used a shop/utility knife to score the skin side of the pork. I cut through the skin to the meat so that I had plenty of surface area to rub the spice-rub into.
When applying the rub to the pork I made sure to get the rub into the cuts that were made into the skin.
After rubbing the spice mixture onto the pork belly I made sure to brush off the extra rub that was sitting on the surface of the pork.
And that spice rub? I added about 2 tablespoons of seasoned salt, a heaping teaspoon of fennel seeds, and another heaping teaspoon of black peppercorns, and then 2 tablespoons of brown sugar to my mortar and pestle. We “pestled” the mixture until it was all ground and well-mixed together before rubbing it all over the slab of pork belly.
As you can see in the photos, I placed the pork belly on a layer of baby potatoes before it went into the oven for 45 minutes at 450 degree.
This is when the skin gets crisped up.
Next step is to lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees and place the slab of pork belly directly on the oven rack. So that you do not have a horrible, smoky mess to clean up, make sure you put a pan of chopped up root veggies under the pork belly so that the drippings land directly in the pan of veggies.
All I had in the test kitchen was a big bag of baby potatoes but if you have a fennel bulb, carrots, parsnips, or onions, chop them into chunks of about one inch and leave them in the pan under the pork belly.
I left the pork belly in the oven for three hours (on top of the initial 45 minutes) and that resulted in a very tender, but not “pull apart” tender slab of meat. It was a decadent piece of meat!
In the morning I sliced off a couple pieces and dropped them into my hot cast iron pan until it got sizzling and then flipped it over.
Onto a toasted croissant with a smear of mayo and some slices of tomato and a beautiful breakfast was ready – I wish I had an egg that I could have done over-easy to add to the sandwich (dreamy!).
Roasted pork belly. Decadent. Delicious.