crispy skin free range berkshire pig belly

(november 2010)

Berkshire Pork was on the menu for a hands-on cooking class at Sticky Rice Cooking School in the Adelaide Hills, along with hand dived wild scallops in burnt chilli sambal and poached free range Barossa Farm Produce chooks.

crispy skin berkshire free range pig belly

serves 6 with rice as main

½ a Berkshire free range pig belly, approximately 1 kg (remove rib bone if still on)
2 to 3 tablespoons salt
2 tablespoons Chinese 5 spice
2 butchers hooks
docking tool

dipping sauce
2 cm ginger, grated
dry chilli flakes (1 big, dry red chilli ground)
60 ml light soy sauce
60 ml dry sherry or Chinese cooking wine
20 g brown sugar
touch of water

Hang the pork in the fridge for 3-4 days uncovered. This starts to dry out the skin so that you get a good crackling.

Place the pork skin side up in a steamer and steam for 15-20 mins, (core temp 20° C). With a docking tool, prick skin side to a depth of 1.5 cm to penetrate the skin and the top fat layer, try not to dock the flesh. Rub salt into the skin at the ratio of 2 tablespoons per 1 kg of pork. Rub the 5 spice into the flesh of the pork too.crispy pig free range pig belly,  Rick Eaves

Preheat oven to 100°C. Place 500 ml boiling water in a baking tray at the bottom of the oven. Hang the pork upright in front of the fan in the oven, the skin towards the fan and the pork hanging vertically so that the fat renders down through the piece and not into the skin. If the angle of the hang is such that the rendering fat drips into the skin, the skin will not crisp. Cook for about 40 mins. In the last 10 mins of cooking, increase the temperature to 240°C, this will give the skin a good crust, (core temp 72°C).

Brush off the excess salt and rest for 30 mins. Carve into 4 cm wide slices and then again in cubes (a bread knife is good for this and always carve skin side up).

Combine dipping sauce ingredients and serve on side.