Recipe

Six-spice roasted free range pork belly, dressed Asian salad

by Tim Maddams

A surprisingly light and refreshing vehicle for rare breed pork belly

A good quality, free-range, rare breed pig will not need the hours of cooking that might be employed with less wholesome pork. This dish is surprisingly quick to make and light and refreshing to eat despite the fatty nature of the belly cut.

Ingredients

For the six-spice mix:
10g fennel seeds
10g star anise
10g cumin seeds
10g coriander seeds
10g Szechuan peppercorns
10g ground ginger

For the pork:
1kg rare breed pork belly, skin not scored and on the bone if possible
20g six-spice
10g salt
250ml sweet cider

For the salad dressing:
1 pinch six-spice powder
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
30ml good soy sauce
10ml toasted pumpkin seed oil
½cm fresh ginger root very finely chopped
Juice of 1 lime

For the salad:
1 crisp cos lettuce, shredded
100g bean sprouts
1 large spring onion
100g shiitake mushrooms
¼ bunch of coriander
¼ bunch of basil

Method

Toast the whole spices briefly before grinding and adding the ginger powder. This six-spice mix can be stored in a jar until you next decide to use it for something, it is rather a useful little trick to have up one’s sleeve.

Rub the flesh side of the pork with the salt and six-spice. Season the skin side with salt and pepper only. Place in a hot oven (200C) in a sturdy roasting dish for 30 mins or until the crackling goes hard. Turn down the heat to 180C for the next 30 mins and add the occasional dash of cider to the tray to keep things moist. Remove the pork from the oven and rest.

Mix the dressing ingredients together. You can add chilli if you like. Do not add salt as the soy will be salty enough.

Chop the mushrooms into thick slices, saute briefly in a little of the fat from the pork in the oven then set aside to cool. Pick the leaves from the herbs, add these to the lettuce and sprouts, add the mushrooms, and at the very last minute, dress the salad with as little of the dressing as you can get away with.

To serve, cut thick rashers of the pork, cutting from the flesh side to the skin side. Serve with a little heap of the dressed salad and some of the roasting juices from the tray sprinkled over.

Recipe: Tim Maddams