Pork belly is generally thought of as a slow and low joint with the perfect meat to fat unctuousness! But when sliced into thin chops the layers of fat will render and crackle over the dry heat of the flame, developing an incredible charred crust.
The chilli, fennel and orange seasoning was one of the first spice blends created at The Salt Box. Originally developed to inject the flavours of the classic Italian porchetta into pork belly for a quicker and slightly more economical twist when not feeding a huge crowd with an entire side of pork.
Wild garlic is all around us at the moment and a perfect partner to… well, pretty much anything. When it’s in season we use it in most of our recipes. Wild garlic is a wonderful thing, adding a mellow garlic heat and a vibrant flourish of green. Butter is a brilliant way to transport the flavour of wild garlic but it also works wonders in pesto or chopped through yoghurt.
Pork Belly Chops
1 kg pork belly cut into 2-3cm strips (we’d recommend Hill House Farm)
15-20g The Salt Box Chilli, Fennel and Orange seasoning
Wild Garlic Hasselback Potatoes
16-20 new potatoes, washed
25g wild garlic butter or salted butter
Handful of wild garlic for garnishing
Salt and pepper
Charred Spring Onions
1 large bunch spring onions, washed well
A good drizzle of rapeseed oil
Salt and pepper
Zest of ½ a lemon
Warm n’duja dressing
4 tbsp rapeseed oil
1 shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
Preparing & Cooking the Pork
Sprinkle the pork belly chops liberally with the chilli, fennel and orange seasoning. Leave to marinade for 2 hours in the fridge. Remove the pork belly from the fridge an hour before you want to cook it so that it can come up to room temperature, this way the pork will cook more evenly.
Before you start cooking the pork belly chops make sure that you have a good bed of hot charcoal, you want the heat to be good and steady as the pork cooks.
Grill the pork belly chops over hot embers, keeping a close eye on them. As the fat renders and drips onto the coals it causes flames to flare up. You can manage this by moving the belly chops around as the pork cooks.
Cook the belly chops until the edges are crisp and an instant read thermometer reads 60℃, this will give you perfectly cooked pork. Rest for a minute or two before serving.
Preparing and Cooking the Wild Garlic Hasselback Potatoes
Working one at a time, place the potatoes between two chopsticks or on a wooden spoon, then use a sharp knife to make cuts every few millimetres down to the chopstick. You want to make sure you don’t slice all the way through the potato.
Place a heavy based pan with a tight fitting lid on the heat, allow to warm.
Drizzle the rapeseed oil into the pan, place the potatoes cut side down into the oil and cook gently over a low to medium heat until golden.
Turn the potatoes and throw in the wild garlic butter. As the butter melts, baste the potatoes well and season with salt and pepper.
Place the lid on and bake until cooked through and tender when a knife is inserted.
Making the N’duja dressing
Place a skillet over a medium heat and allow it to warm up.
Drizzle the rapeseed oil into the pan and add the shallots, sautee gently for a minute or two.
Add the garlic and n’duja, continue to cook until the fat has rendered from the n’duja and it begins to crisp in the pan.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the wild garlic seed capers (if using), red wine vinegar and the honey.
Set aside and keep warm by the fire.
Preparing and Cooking the Charred Spring Onions
Place the spring onions into a bowl and drizzle over the rapeseed oil.
Season well with salt and pepper, zest over the lemon and stir everything together well.
Grill the spring onions over a high heat until well charred, turning every now and again.
Place the wild garlic hasselback potatoes onto a serving platter, drape the charred spring onions in and around the potatoes.
Drizzle over a little of the warm n’duja dressing.
Nestle the pork next to the potatoes and drizzle over a little more dressing.
Finely chop the reserved wild garlic and scatter over the potatoes.
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