Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Pork Belly with Anchovies and Chestnuts

Happy new year! 2011 was more work-oriented than food-oriented so I didn't bother with a top 10 food list - it wouldn't have been too exciting! Here's to a better-balanced 2012. Top of my to-do list is to become a real person, with a job and a paycheck and a bit of free time and all that.

It wasn't all bad food-wise this year though; I discovered that you can get nice Chinese food in Cambridge, and quite a bit of dim sum too; I found that you can improve most cakes by adding loads of buttery crumbs on the top; I continued with the aubergine obsession; I improved our trips down the A14 massively; oh, and I had someone pretty funny write about crisps and breakfast.

I also made this pork belly dish almost every time I needed to cook something relatively impressive. There's crispy crackling with soft, fatty meat underneath, and a sweet and savoury sauce soaking the roast new potatoes. Make some greens on the side to distract from the unhealthiness.

Pork Belly with Anchovies and Chestnuts

This is a recipe from the Great British Food Revival on BBC2 but I basically copied it from here. There are 50 ml of brandy in the ingredients list that do not appear anywhere in the recipe and I didn't use, but apart from that it's pretty much spot on. I took an extra step when preparing the pork, to aid with the crackling, pouring boiling water over the skin and then patting it dry before scoring and salting it.

For the last hour or so of the roasting time I added halved new potatoes to cook in the sauce. As expected, they did not crisp up, but instead took on the amazing flavours from the anchovies and chestnuts.

I've made it before with mash and that goes really well with it too. Add some steamed kale or spinach on the side and enjoy.

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