Friday, December 31, 2010

Slow Roasted Pork Belly With Braised Lentils - Christmas Lunch 2010 Part 2

For our second course I prepared a tried and tested dish that didn't require too much attention from me as well. Pork belly was the obvious choice when I was doing my last minute shopping on Christmas eve as everything else was either sold out or way out of my budget. The pork belly turned out extremely moist and tender after 2 hours of slow cooking in the oven and I was relatively pleased with the resulting golden crackling. Everyone was satisfied and happy after the dishes were cleared but wait we still have our third course coming! Please come back tomorrow to check out our third course and my very first pudding for the blog. 
P.S We are moving to Carlton North after more than 10 years in Fitzroy. I am extremely excited about the move; a new suburb (only a block away :)), a bigger garden, a much larger living area and a brand new kitchen. Excitements aside; packing will be my new best friend for the next 2 weeks but I will continue to have regular posting and will visit all my favourite blogs whenever I need a break from my new friend. I hope you are enjoying the holidays as much as I have been so far.

serve 4 as a main or as a very satisfying one dish meal
oven pre-heated at 200C
you'll need;
1.2 kg of pork belly (ask for female pig)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
light olive oil
1 tbs of fennel seeds, dry roasted and set aside
2 onions, cut into half
1 bunch of spinach, washed and trimmed

for the braised lentil;
250 g of puy lentil, washed and soaked for 30 minutes
2 carrot, peeled and finely diced
3 sticks of celery, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic clove, chopped
2 to 3 bay leaves
1/2 cup of white wine
2 cups of chicken stock
olive oil
sea salt and pepper to taste
a small knob of butter

Wash and dry the pork thoroughly with kitchen towel. Score the rind with a very sharp knife (or get your butcher to do that) at 1cm intervals but do not cut all the way to the flesh. Lightly oil the pork rind and rub with sea salt. Season the meat side with sea salt, pepper and fennel seeds.

Place onion halves in a roasting pan and place the pork belly on top, this will stop the pork from burning and drying out during the long cooking process. The onions will caramelized and also absorb all the juices and fat rendering out from the pork belly. These can be served with the meat later. Place the roasting pan into the hot oven at 200C for 20 minutes before turning the oven down to 160C and continue to roast for another hour and 40 minutes. If the crackling is browning too quickly, loosely wrap a foil to cover the pork. 

While the pork belly is roasting - saute chopped vegetables with a little olive oil until soften then add in the soaked lentil, stock, wine and bay leaves. Mix well and simmer gently for 20 to 25 minutes or until the lentils are tender.

When the lentils are ready throw in the butter and combine well. Do a final seasoning with salt and pepper.

After 2 hours - remove pork belly from the oven, cover loosely with foil and rest for 25 to 30 minutes before carving. While the pork is resting saute spinach with a little olive oil and season well. 

Serve pork belly on a bed of braised lentils with the sauteed spinach and caramelized onion. We served this with a beautiful rosé that one of the tummy had brought over.


  1. I love roast pork... especially for the crackling!! Looking forward to more awesome recipes by you in the new year :)

  2. Your rost pork looks perfectly crackled. It looks wonderful. Looking forward to try this recipe in the new year. Happy New Year to you.

  3. Loving your Christmas meal so far. The pork belly looks perfect and I can imagine how tender that must be after 2 hour of roasting. Looking forward to your first dessert post tmr lol

  4. I know you are excited about the new kitchen! Did you say dessert...I can't believe it...Have you ever posted a dessert before? The pork belly looks great.

  5. Oh yumssssss!!

    Your braised lentils sound lovely.. Carlton North! I like that area! ;)

    Happy New Year Suresh! & Happy Moving!

  6. Your pork belly looks perfect and I am looking forward to the pudding post!

  7. Hi 3HT. I see you had a great Christmas lunch. Here's to a great year ahead !

  8. Wow I want a piece of the pork belly too! What is your first pudding I wonder lol

  9. What a great Xmas meal! I love it. I can smell it from here.
    Great recipe!

    I wish you and yours the best of everything that you so well deserve!

    Lots of love
    B xx

  10. amazing dish!

    happy 2011 to you! all the best in the coming year! god bless xx

  11. Oh wow!! Crackling... nomz! Happy New Year!

  12. It looks gorgeous; pork is such a great match with lentils. I'd be interested as to why you specify female pork?

  13. Good luck with your moving and Happy New Year to you all. May I know does it taste different between a male and female pork belly?

  14. superb roasted pork belly....n wish u a very happy new year ahead..

  15. The pork belly is perfect. I'm ready to roast me some pork! Love it over the braised lentils. Need to catch up and see what else you had in store this week. Happy 2011! May the New Year bring you all good things.

  16. It looks perfect! Now if you had black eyed peas instead of the lentil, it would be perfect for New Years Day meal here in the south. We always eat black eyed peas, greens and pork on New Year's Day, so pass it on over...hahaha!

    Good luck on your move, you'll have a nice big kitchen and room to grow your own herbs. I know you'll be smiling for sometime to come. Have a great new year!

    I'll be back for dessert! :D

  17. I would rather have this than turkey anytime! The pork belly looks awsome!

  18. You cooked a winner as usual, my friend!

    B xx

  19. That looks awesome! I love pork belly, but I need to experiment with lentils more.

    Curious, why "ask for female pig" there a difference in flavor/texture?

    Great pictures, thanks!


    Perry P. Perkins
    La Caja China Cooking
    La Caja China World

  20. RR


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