Relatives from Holland were visiting last month. Rather than dining out, I thought I would do something more “homely” and host a family dinner instead. I had always wanted to attempt a pork roast and this seemed like the opportune moment. This is the first time I attempted to make pork crackling. Thankfully, I did not fail to impress.
1) Pan-fry on medium heat two tablespoons of fennel seeds and one tablespoon of black pepper gently for 2-3 minutes.
2) Transfer the fennel seeds and black peppercorns to a mortar and pestle and add 3 cloves of garlic, sprinkle of sea salt, bunch of thyme, and dash of lemon juice. Add some olive oil and pound until a paste forms. 3) Slather the paste onto the scored pork belly and massage all over. Marinade overnight.
4) Preheat oven to 240 degrees celsius. Generously rub Maldon sea salt flakes into the rind of the pork belly and shove in oven for 20 minutes before turning heat down to 180 degrees celsius. 5) Prepare vegetable tray by slicing two bulbs of fennel, two onions and two cups of pumpkin cut into cubes. Sprinkle salt and pepper and pour in 1/4 cup of dry white wine.
6) Transfer pork belly to vegetable tray and bake in 180 degree celsius oven for ~1.5-2 hours (depending on weight of pork belly). 7) During the last 20 minutes turn up the oven to a high temperature of 240 degrees celsius again to produce a crispy crackling. When juices run clear and skin looks crisp, take crackling out and serve along with apple sauce.