Perfect Festive Pork Belly
- 1.5 kg piece boneless pork belly skin scored at 1cm intervals
- Olive oil to drizzle
- PORK BRINE
- 3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar 170g
- 3/4 cup sea salt 165g
- 4 garlic cloves crushed
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 thyme sprig
- Place the pork skin side up on an oven rack over the sink and pour a jug of boiling water over the skin. Pat dry and set aside.
- For the brine, place the sugar, salt, garlic, peppercorns, cloves, bay, thyme and 1.5L water in a saucepan over high heat. Cook, stirring, for 4 minutes or until sugar and salt have dissolved. Transfer to a bowl and chill until cooled to room temperature.
- Pour brine into a plastic container and carefully place the pork in the brine, to cover meat but not skin. Chill overnight uncovered in the fridge, leaving the skin exposed to dry out.
- The next day, preheat the oven to 220°C. Remove pork from brine, discarding brine and allow the pork to come to room temperature
- Rub skin with oil and season with salt. Place pork, skin-side up, on a greased wire rack set in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes or until the skin starts to bubble and crisp slightly.
- Reduce oven to 150°C and roast for a further 1 hour 10 minutes, then increase oven to 200°C and cook for a further 20 minutes or until meat is cooked through and the crackling is crisp and golden. Rest the pork, loosely covered with foil, for 30 minutes.