Full-on comfort food, this is a beautiful roast of meat which we more often see on menus in restaurants than at home.
- 1.8kg belly pork -skin on, bones removed
- 4 tbsp cider vinegar
- 3 tbsp butter
- 8 bay leaves -crushed
- 1 whole garlic -halved
- 4 parsnips -peeled, washed and cut into long wedges
- 400g carrots -peeled, washed and cut into long wedges
- 6 whole shallots
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 tbsp olive oil
The night before, boil a kettle and pour the boiling water over the pork skin (this method will give you better crackling), pour the water away. Baste the raw joint with cider vinegar; rubbing it all over to ensure the vinegar gets into the rind. Place the joint on a plate in the fridge overnight.
Next day remove the pork from the fridge and spread with the dripping or butter, crushed bay leaves and garlic. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and set aside while you pre-heat the oven to 200˚C.
Place the pork, skin side up, on a wire rack that fits over an empty roasting tray. Roast for one hour and then reduce the oven temperature to 180˚C.
In a separate roasting tray place the parsnips, carrots and shallots into the bottom of the roasting tray; add the thyme and olive oil and a glass of water.
Remove the tray from beneath the pork and pour any fat that has gathered in the bottom of the tray over the vegetables; place the vegetables tray underneath the pork. Roast for a further hour, basting the vegetables with the juices from the pork in the bottom of the pan from time to time.
Remove the pork from the wire rack and allow to rest for 15 minutes in a warm place.
Carve off the crackling in one piece and break into portions. Serve the pork with the roasted root vegetables.