Jess’ top tip – leaving the meat to marinade over night really does make all the difference.
Rolled pork belly with herby apricot & honey
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- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion , chopped
- 2kg piece pork belly , boned and rolled.
- small bunch parsley , chopped
- small handful thyme , leaves picked
- 10 sage leaves, chopped
- 50g fresh breadcrumb
- 140g dried apricot , chopped
- 1 tbsp flaky sea salt
- 2 tbsp clear honeystuffing
Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a small frying pan. Add the onion and cook for 10 mins until golden. Trim off about 100g of the pork, from the meaty side. Whizz the pork trimmings in a food processor, then add the herbs, breadcrumbs, apricots, onion and 2 tbsp oil, season and blend well.
Turn the pork belly skin-side up. Using a sharp knife, score the skin at 1cm intervals and rub the sea salt all over. Turn the pork belly over and season a little more, then brush the honey over the flesh. Lay the stuffing down the centre, then re-roll the joint and tie the rolled pork with kitchen string to secure. Put the meat on a wire rack in a roasting tin and transfer to the fridge, uncovered for up to 24 hrs, so the skin has time to dry out and the meat takes on the flavours from the stuffing.
Heat oven to 220C/180C fan/gas 6. Rub the pork with the remaining oil and a little more sea salt. Roast in the centre of the oven for 30 mins. Turn the oven down to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and continue cooking for 2 hrs. Finally, turn the oven back up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 to crisp up the skin for another 30 mins – don’t worry if your pork looks dark on the outside, it will still be juicy and delicious in the middle. Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 45 mins before carving. If your skin does not turn crispy, pop the joint under a hot grill for a few mins, rolling it onto its side to get the sides nice and crispy too – just keep an eye on it as it will burn easily.