Farmers’ markets are worth every penny, writes Dominic Jack, as he gives us this delicious recipe for crispy pork belly

  • Overnight + 200
  • 4
  • Medium
With a farmers’ market right on our doorstep every Saturday, there’s always something to find. The Castle Terrace market in Edinburgh has been running for more than 15 years, and as the lighter, brighter weather approaches, it can be a really nice way to spend the morning. The pork belly is brightened by the deep, vivid purple of the crunchy coleslaw and the sweetness of the chopped apples.

Ingredients

  • 1 kilo of quality pork belly – skin left on
  • ½ medium-large red cabbage
  • olive oil for cooking
  • ½ onion, peeled and sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • pared zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 50g soft light brown sugar
  • 50ml white wine vinegar
  • 400ml red wine
  • 100ml port
  • 50g sultanas
  • 1 dessert apple
  • 3 tbsp plain flour
  • 700ml chicken or pork stock
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • honey to taste

Method

Crispy pork belly

The day before

1 The day before you’re going to cook and enjoy the pork, take a sharp knife and score the skin of the pork in a criss-cross pattern. Then season well by rubbing salt thoroughly into the skin. Place on a cooling wire then on a tray – don’t use cling film. Leave in the fridge for 24 hours.

The next day

2 Boil the kettle and pre heat the oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4. Pour a half litre of boiling water over the pork belly while it is still sitting on the wire atop the tray. This method will open the skin and the fat, creating a wonderful crackling.

3 Place the pork belly into the hot oven at 180C/Gas Mark 4 for 20-25 minutes to get it cooking. Then after 20-25 minutes, lower the temperature to 140C/Gas Mark 1 and continue to cook for about 2½ hours. This method of cooking will ensure the fat becomes the most amazing crackling.

4 To prepare the cabbage, cut out the core and finely shred. Heat a heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat and add a generous drizzle of olive oil. Add the onion and sweat for 2–3 minutes, then add the cabbage and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the star anise, cinnamon and some salt and pepper and cook for another 1-2 minutes to release the flavours.

5 Now add the orange zest and sprinkle in the sugar. Add the orange juice and wine vinegar and let bubble to reduce down. Pour in the red wine and port. Add the sultanas and leave to cook gently for 40 minutes. Peel, core and dice the apple. Add to the cabbage, toss to mix and set aside. Save a few batons for a garnish.

6 Pour any juices from the roasting tin into a jug. When the fat has separated, discard it and pour the meaty juices back into the tin. Put the tin on the hob and stir in the flour to a smooth paste. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute, then gradually whisk in the stock. Bring to the boil and bubble until the gravy has reduced a little and is of a good consistency. If it needs sweetening, add some honey to taste.

7 Take the pork out of the oven, the meat should be so tender it flakes off. Serve alongside the cabbage and apple mix.

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Tom Kitchin recipes: Get a flavour for your nearest farmers’ market

About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.