Sunday, 10 January 2010
There is only so much soup and stew I can eat, even when there is as much snow as there has been in Oxford (above is a photo I took of the rather wonderful headington shark, looking all the more surreal for its dusting of snow). Sooner or later I yearn for something fresh, with bite, and hopefully crunch. So today I've been adding to my gas bill by slow roasting a pork belly, dry rubbed with spices, ready to tear to pieces for dinner. With finely shaved fennel, celeriac, red onion together with glistening grapefruit and clementine segments, and a healthy dash of chilli and lime, it looks like just the thing for the new year. I hasten to add that nothing about this was traditional, or culinarily authentic, but it was just the kind of satisfying, interesting thing I want to cook more of
New Years Slaw
one bulb of fennel sliced as thinly as possible
1/2 small celeriac cut into very thin batons
one red onion thinly minced
chilli finely minced
For the citrus fruit peel them with a sharp knife, taking the white pith away as well as the skin, then use the knife to slice out the segments of fruit, leaving the bitter membrane. You'll be left with quite a bit of flesh attached to the membrane, use your hand to squeeze as much of the juice from this into a bowl. With this remaining juice, and the onion, chilli and salt, make a dressing for the salad.
Pork belly (not sliced)
Heat the oven to 200 oc
Score the rind on the pork belly (this helps the fat crisp nicely) and salt it liberally. Cut the garlic bulb in two and place at the bottom of a roasting dish. Rub the pork with the herbs and spices and place on top of the garlic, skin side up. Cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 160oc and continue to cook for at least another 2 hours, preferably 3.