Christmas Cooking With Casuals: Belly pork in ginger beer

What to do for christmas dinner? It only struck me a few days before, but belly pork sounded like a good idea. And so it came to pass.

It’s a bit involved – not one you can just leave and sod off to the pub for, but worth the effort.

bellyporkFirst, score the skin of the pork, making sure not to cut through to the meat. Rub in some salt and leave for ten minutes then press down hard with paper towels. Repeat three times.
Rub in some sunflower oil and a bit more salt then place it skin-side up in a roasting tin  on a bed of garlic cloves, chopped shallots and thyme and stick in the oven at 110C/gas mark 1 for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, up the temperature to gas mark 4/170C and add chicken stock and alcoholic ginger beer to the pan, taking care not to cover the skin. Back in it goes for two more hours, but check it every half hour and top up the liquid as required. For super-crispy skin, whack it up gas mark 7/220C for the last half hour.

I served with a baked spud, sour cream and chives, and coleslaw, but the juices in the pan can also make a lovely gravy if you want to go with veg and all that.
To cut it up, place it skin side down on the board. Otherwise you’ll make a right mess of it given the meat is so tender.

The meat is tender as a womans heart and the skin nice a crackly. Flippin delicious.