roast belly porkrating:
- Three strips of belly pork per head if hungry, two if more abstemious or if you like big piles of mashed spud
- Two medium onions
- A little stock
- Redcurrent or grape jelly. (Or any red jelly-jam at a push, perhaps even a little honey)
- Vinegar (red wine, rice, or cider)
Suggested veg - savoy cabbage and mashed spud - not too runny the latter!
Slice up the onions and layer them in the bottom of a roasting dish.
If the meat has been in supermarket plastic bags, it'll be soggy - try to dry the skin as much as possible, can I even recommend something I normally hate and suggest one of those kitchen rolls that doesn't break up when wet to do this?
Coil the slices and lie them on top of the onion. If poss, aim for only a single layer of meat, and as much as possible of the onion covered or close to meat to stop it burning.
Slam in at 160degC for about 75-90 mins. The meat should be cooked through and the fat starting to crisp nicely. If you like it crispier, leave it a bit longer - but not so long as to dry it out.
Aim to have your veg ready when the meat comes out coz it won't take long now.
Put the slices on plates, also your veg. Take the roasting pan and pour in the stock, or veg steaming water, or plain water... about quarter of a pint. Put the pan on the heat and deglaze thoroughly. Once you have all the goop from the pan movign around in the stock transfer that to a pan, add a dollop of redcurrant or grape jelly, a tablespoon of vinegar, and stir. If it's thinner than you like, by all means thicken it. (Can I say "ah - bisto" here? I mean the real ordinary bisto gravy browning not the "gravy granules" or other such instant nightmares.) Pour the thickened sauce/gravy, including any bits of onion, over the meat, serve up promptly!
1) Deglazing. Seems to be a dying art. A few *seconds* of direct heat under the roasting tin whilst it has stock/water in it is usually enough to un-stick any blobs of meat jus, or in this case bits of onions slice, from the pan and float it off in the gravy. This adds body and flavour to the gravy and it *cleans* the pan!!! A properly deglazed pan will take only seconds to wash up, none of this over-night soaking, chiselling at chunks, etc. :(
2) Mashed spud. Ever since I read in a certain GR's cookbook "this recipe eats well with my mashed potato" and then flipped to the indicated page to find out what wonderful new recipe he had for mashed potato... it was spuds, boiled, mashed. I have NO idea why he called them "his" mashed potatos so I'm loth to post my favourite MS recipe as a full-blown recipe but it's
- use ESTIMA potatos (they have a good flavour, a nice yellow colour, and don't break up when boiled)
- Steam (pref) or boil until soft
- adjust salt (not needed if you steamed, imho)
- add some butter and a *little* milk or olive oil
for "auvergne style" add a good handful of tomme cheese (or cantal or, heck, decent cheddar).