This is a melt in the mouth recipe but it is a bit of work. Pork belly is really cheap, around €5/kg, so it’s perfect for cooking for a lot of people. This isn’t a recipe where you can decide to do it on the spur of the moment, there is a bit of prep involved in it. You need to buy the meat the day before so you can salt it over night to dry out the skin. If you haven’t tried jerusalem artichokes before now is the time!!! Most people don’t have a food dehydrator so don’t be too bothered about the dehydrated apple slices.
Prep time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 5 hours
- 1.5kg pork belly
- Rosemary, dried or fresh
- Thyme, dried or fresh
- 2 Cans of bulmers
- 2 Parsnips
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Onion
- 1 Garlic bulb
- 1 Apple
- Sea Salt
- 600g Jerusalem artichokes
- 100ml Cream approx.
Black pudding potato cakes:
- 4-5 medium potatoes
- 300g Clonakilty black pudding approx.
- Butter to taste
- Flour to bind
1. To get the best crackling you want to dry out the skin as best you can. Score the skin and cover in salt and a mix of the herbs and leave over night in the fridge. Make sure to get the salt into the scored pieces of skin so it absorbs as much moisture from the skin as possible.
2. The next morning the skin should have dried out so remove the salt and pat dry. Heat your oven to 220 degrees Celsius, chop your veg and apple roughly and place in a baking tray. Place the piece of pork belly on top of the veg making sure to season it well with salt, pepper and a good amount of herbs on and around it. Place in the oven for 30 minutes at that temperature and then reduce to 140 degrees. After an hour pour the bulmers into the baking tray and place back in the oven.
3. You can get the blackpudding potato cakes ready whenever you want and the same with the puree. They can be reheated once you are ready to serve up.
4. To make the potato cakes make your mash potatoes, cook you black pudding and mix both together. Sprinkle with some flour to help it bind and mix again. Shape the potato cakes and place in the fridge for 30 minutes minimum.
5. Peel the artichokes and place them in water which has lemon juice in it to keep them from oxidising. Once your ready to roast them place them on a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and season. I had to cook them at 90 degrees because the pork was in there so they took a little longer to roast. I would normally roast them at 160 or 170 for 15 minutes or until soft.
6. Once they are roasted let cool for a few minutes and place into a blender. If you have a hand blender they are the handiest as the normal ones can be a bit big and don’t chop the artichokes up enough. When they are chopped up enough add some cream and seasoning and taste. Continue adding cream and seasoning until the consistency and flavour is right. If you wanted to make the puree completely smooth you could pass the mix through a fine sieve. Once ready set aside until your ready to serve.
7. After the long wait for the pork belly to cook it’s finally ready to take it out of the oven. Remove the bones which should come away easily and let rest for a few minutes.
8. Remove the potato cakes from the fridge and place in a hot pan with a bit of oil to heat. This usually takes 3-4 minutes on each side depending on how thick you have made them.
9. Heat your puree in a small pot and once heated place on your plate. I would heat your plates for a couple minutes beforehand in the oven so everything stays nice and hot.
10. Place some pork belly on the plate along with the potato cake and your ready to go. If you want to get fancy you can add some of the mixed salad leaves I placed on the plate to give it a lift.