​Slow-roasted pork belly with sloe gin

Try this dish as a lighter and more summery take on the traditional roast belly of pork.
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Slow-cooked pork belly has to be one of the most tender cuts, thanks to the rich layers of fat that sandwich the flesh. To offset the fattiness of the meat, pair with something fresh and crunchy - which is where the iceberg wedge comes into play. 

Serves 4–6
Prep time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 3.5-4 hours
Marinating time: 4 hours or overnight

* 1kg piece boneless pork belly, skin scored and patted dry
* 1 tbsp sea salt flakes
* 4 red onions
* 1 head of iceberg lettuce
* 1 unwaxed lemon
* 200g thick Greek yoghurt
* a pinch each of sugar and
* sea salt

For the marinade:
* 150ml sloe gin
* 80g runny honey
* 2 tsp white pepper
* 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
* 200g redcurrants or mixed
* berries (frozen is fine), plus a handful to garnish

1. Mix the marinade ingredients in a shallow glass or ceramic dish. Place the pork in it carefully, making sure that the marinade doesn’t touch the skin. Leave uncovered and place in the fridge for four hours or overnight. When the marinating time is up, preheat the oven to 220°C (fan).

2. Pat the skin of the pork dry with kitchen towel. Place on a tray, setting the marinade to one side, and use a blow-dryer for two to three minutes to remove all the excess moisture from the skin. Rub the skin thoroughly with salt flakes, getting into the scoring.

3. Peel the red onions, cut into quarters and place at the bottom of a roasting tin, then pour over the marinade and lay the pork belly skin side up on top. Roast for 30 minutes, then turn the heat down to 150°C and roast for two and a half to three hours, or until very tender.

4. Remove the pork from the oven. Take the onions out and set aside. Crank up the heat again to 220°C and place the pork back in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until the skin is crispy.

5. Remove the pork from the oven. When cool enough to handle, separate the skin from the flesh. Slice the pork belly into slivers and chop the skin into small crouton-sized pieces.

6. Cut the lettuce into thick slices, then wash and dry (keeping them whole). Finely zest the lemon and mix into the Greek yoghurt with the sugar and salt. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.

7. To serve, place a large wedge of iceberg on a plate and top with the pork, onions, skin and berries. Drizzle with the yoghurt dressing.

Get ahead: marinate the pork belly up to two days in advance. 

More from Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook:

Rachel Khoo’s Kitchen Notebook by Rachel Khoo (Michael Joseph Hardback / £20 / out now)

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