For the pork:
- 2kg piece belly pork (ask for the end with fewer bones, to make carving easier), the rind deeply scored
- 2 tsp salt
For the paste:
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tsp fennel seeds (or dried rosemary)
- Preheat oven: 220 C/200 C fan/ gas mark 7
- Crush all the ingredients for the paste together in a mortar and pestle if you have one, or with the end of a rolling-pin if not.
- Place the pork skin side down on a board and trim away any excess fat from the underside. With a sharp knife slash the flesh quite lightly in a criss-cross pattern. Rub the garlic paste well into the cuts and all over the meat's surface.
- Turn the belly pork skin side up again on the board and rub the salt well into the skin, making sure it comes into contact with the fat layer to ensure good crisp crackling.
- Place the pork on a wire rack within a large roasting tin to allow for the fat to run away from the meat during the slow cooking process. Roast in the hot oven for 30 minutes to get the crackling going and then reduce the oven temperature to 160 C/ 140 C fan/ gas mark 2 for a further 2 ½ - 3 hours when much of the fat will have drained away, leaving a lovely crisp-topped juicy piece of meat.
Kcals – 733
Fat – 53.5
Protein - 62.9
Sugar - 0
Salt - 2.4
Carb - 0.1