A cold weather favourite, pork works beautifully with seasonal pears and ginger and, of course, there’s never enough crackling to go around!
1.5 kilogram piece boned pork belly, skin on
2 onions, sliced
750ml good quality ginger beer
3 firm but ripe pears, halved
1–2 fennel bulbs, cut into thick wedges through the root
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon ground allspice
sea salt and ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 210°C fan bake.
Paste: Combine the ingredients in a bowl and season. Spread over the flesh side of the pork.
Put the onions in the base of a baking dish and place the pork, skin side up, on top.
Rub the skin with a little olive oil then sprinkle with sea salt.
Add enough ginger beer to come half way up the side of the pork but don’t let it touch the skin.
Roast for 30 minutes then remove from the oven. Place the pears and fennel around the pork, spooning over some of the pan juices (but not over the pork).
Reduce the oven to 160°C fan bake.
Place back in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes or until the pork is tender when pierced with a skewer and the fennel and pears are tender. Cooking time will depend on how thick the pork is.
If the skin is not crisp and you would like the pears to have more colour, place the baking dish under a hot grill for a few minutes until golden, taking care the pork doesn’t catch and burn.
To serve: Slice the pork and serve with the pears and fennel and spoon over the pan juices. Crispy roasted potatoes or kumara are a great accompaniment.