1.2 kg belly pork
1 1/2 tsps Fennel seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp celery salt
200g dried bulgar wheat
2 garlic cloves
Salt & pepper to season
Preheat the oven to 220°C
Take the Fennel and mustard seeds and toast in a dry pan for a minute or so, moving the pan constantly. Place in a pestle and mortar and grind the contents to a rough powder. Followed by mixing in the celery salt.
If the skin on your pork has not been scored by your butcher, now is the time to do this. Score in medium/narrow strips just under 1cm deep.
Pat the belly pork down with a kitchen towel and drizzle a little oil over placing on a roasting dish, skin side up. Rub the dry spices in to all surfaces by massaging it into all the nooks and crannies.
Place in the oven for 30 minutes then turn down to 160°C for a further 2 hours.
Turn the oven back up to 220°C for a further 30 minutes ensuring the crackling crisps up nicely.
Get a pan of slightly salted water to the boil roughly 10 minutes before the pork is cooked. Add the bulgar wheat, which should take 15 minutes.
When the pork is finished cooking, place on a board to rest for roughly 10 minutes, saving any juices for a sauce or gravy.
Steam the kale for a few minutes to finish at the same time as the bulgar wheat. Drain the bulgar wheat and then return to the pan, season well and crush the garlic straight into the pan and mix in followed by the steamed kale.
Belly pork is one of those cuts that you think to yourself that you shouldn't have too often or you will be the size of a house in no time. It is, however, completely worth the calories for the flavour and moistness the fat adds to the meat.
Naughty but nice
For a piece of meat that you see more and more in gastro pubs and fancy restaurants with high price tags, from your butcher it is a relatively cheap cut that will go along way for the money…and everyone gets crackling!