1½ kilogram free-range or organic pork belly, skin on
1 teaspoon fennel seeds, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon sea salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ cup Pedro Ximenez sherry or other rich sherry
¼ cup raisins
100 grams quince paste, chopped
1 cup strained, freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup good quality chicken stock
squeeze of lemon juice
Ask your butcher to score the skin of the pork belly 1 cm wide and ½ cm deep.
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Pork: Mix the ground fennel, salt, garlic, rosemary and olive oil to a paste. Rub well into the flesh side of the pork. Place in a shallow, lightly oiled roasting dish, skin-side up. Use a dish only slightly larger than the pork and it is less likely to catch and burn on the bottom. Rub the skin with a little olive oil and sprinkle generously with sea salt.
Roast for 30 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 150°C.
Cook for a further 2-2½ hours or until the pork is very tender. Add a little water to the pan if the pork starts to catch on the base.
At the end of the cooking time, for a really crispy skin, place the pork under a hot grill for a few minutes.
Remove from the oven, cover loosely and rest for 15 minutes.
Quince sauce: Put the sherry and raisins in a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes. Add the quince paste, orange juice and chicken stock and bring to the boil again, stirring to dissolve the quince paste. Season and simmer until syrupy and reduced by half.
Stir in a squeeze of lemon juice to balance the flavours.
To serve: Slice the pork belly and arrange on serving plates. Spoon over the quince sauce and serve with a green vegetable and your favourite potato dish.
Menu: Serve with a Baked Cinammon Cheesecake to finish.