I have been noticeably MIA from my blog and this entry is long overdue. A couple of weeks back, while visiting my parents, my mom and I had the opportunity to cook together, something that happens far too infrequently. I had been craving manly meat and wanted my mom to make something finger licking good that I had not had in ages – roasted pork belly with crackling, in all its fatty, sweet, salty, crunchy, exterior, and succulent, mouth meltingly tender interior. If that weren’t enough, I also made BBQ style ribs. So it was meat, with a side of yet more meat, oh and Yorkshire pudding – grease oven fried dough balls, with a few strands of cabbage salad on the side just so we didn’t feel too guilty. Clearly, this most certainly is NOT an entry about clean, healthy, weekday eating. Not only because of the calories but also because it simply takes time to prepare and cook. As it’s finger licking good, it’s totally worth the calories and effort every once in a while.
For the Pork Belly:
My Mom said she followed the recipe in this link with the following alterations described below:
Score pork belly the night before you plan to roast it. Apply salt and vinegar rub (not just salt as recipe indicates) to the scored belly, rub well into crevices, place uncovered in the refrigerator over night. If there is one thing we learned from our years spent living in Good Ol’ Blighty, a pork belly must air out overnight uncovered to ensure a crunchy, crisp crackling.
For the sweet, sour and slightly Asian inspired dipping sauce, ground spices can be substituted for whole spices, as well as bouillon for stock.
The result is nothing short of perfection – balance of sweet, sour, salt, spice, crunch, soft and juicy…. If that weren’t enough, and believe me, this alone, is more than ample for a fabulous meal… I made ribs as well.
For the BBQ style ribs – done in the oven
Cajun spices work really well to bring out that smokey BBQ style flavor. I used cumin, smoked paprika, chili, chipotle, garlic powder, onion powder, oregano and thyme, then a few healthy glugs of Worcester sauce and ketchup. Let the ribs marinade for a few hours or better still, overnight. Roast low and slow, about 325*F for approx 2 hours depending on the size of the ribs (with a loose foil tent cover), til tender but still firm-ish. You don’t want the meat to be falling apart, just firm enough to have some substance to sink your teeth into. Finally, slather ribs with a coating of your favorite BBQ sauce (homemade if you had a chance to make it in advance), though there is no shame in using one from a bottle. There are so many great options available. I opted for an all natural hickory smoked sauce. Turn oven up to about 350*F, remove foil and let the BBQ sauce cook through and permeate the meat for about 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven, cover again with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving.
Serve with Yorkshire pudding if you dare and a simple cabbage salad works well.
NB. Clean eating starts Monday.