It’s been a busy week! I’m whizzing my way towards Thursday which is my last day at my current job, and then looking forward to a week or so off before starting my new job on the 11th. I’m already planning some exciting culinary experiments that week when I’ll have all day to play in the kitchen rather than just a couple of hours squeezed into the evening! Although – having said that I’ve been doing alright at cramming in some different recipes recently….tonight was a Moroccan tagine with cous cous and roasted sweet potatoes, followed by baking a banana and chocolate loaf (requested from the guys at work) for tomorrow. Post about the tagine may follow soon depending how a few hurried photos turned out!
So – as promised the other day when I posted the pak choi side dish, here is the Chinese pork recipe we had at the weekend. It’s from an old BBC Good Food magazine (March 2008) and was part of a selection of recipes looking at using cheaper cuts of meat. It’s given me a lot of new ideas to try with cuts of meat that I’d shied away from buying in the past, and the bonus of saving a few pounds is always very welcome!
The recipe in the magazine (serves 4) is:
- 1.3kg / 3lb piece boned pork belly, skin on and scored
- 2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
- 2 tsp salt
That’s it! You do need a little time for this one though, as you need to rub the pork with the five-spice and salt, and leave uncovered in a fridge overnight. This then needs to cook in an oven set at maximum for 10 minutes, and then for a further 1.5 hours at 180 degrees (160 degrees for a fan oven). You may need to turn up the heat and blast it for a bit longer at the end if the skin hasn’t quite gone crispy enough. If like me you bought the pork in slices you need to push them together when they are cooking to keep the moisture in, but reduce the cooking time. Just a note – it will come out pretty dark due to the five spice without being burnt but keep an eye on it!
Once cooked and rested for about 10 minutes, the pork should be cut into small pieces and served with rice and a dipping sauce made out of:
- 4 tbsp soy sauce
- small knob of fresh root ginger, grated
- 1 tbsp thai sweet chilli sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 1 spring onion, finely chopped
The photo in the magazine showed some pak choi looking greens in the background which gave rise to the chilli and garlic pak choi side dish I posted about the other day. I would definitely recommend something green though, if nothing else but to feel a bit more virtuous about the meal! It also makes everything a bit more balanced and adds some freshness to contrast with the richness of the pork.
This is an absolutely brilliant recipe and well worth a try! Even if you don’t fancy the pork belly I would strongly suggest the dipping sauce which was delicious…..but you should really make the pork as it was fab! The top becomes a super crisp but aromatic crackling, and the high heat renders a lot of the fat out of the meat leaving it very juicy and surprisingly non-fatty tasting.
All in all this is a fantastic cheap eat which seems like a bit of a treat! I scaled the recipe down for two of us, but the pork cost the whopping sum of £1.80 and we were both stuffed afterwards!