Continuing with my trend of posting weekend food, here is another fantastic roast recipe. This time, the start of the show is a slow cooked pork belly, which is first roasted on high heat, then low, then high again which helps to dry out the crackling on the top while the rest of the meat is melt-in-the-mouth soft. In this BBCGoodfFod recipe, the pork belly is served with contrasting celeriac & pear mash which adds a sweetness which compliments the roast. The only thing which will improve this recipe is a nice serving of gravy to go with it!

I have two really good butchers that I use near me. This time, I got the pork belly from Rodger Butchers who are really good, knowledgeable butchers based on Byres Rd in the West End. Their meet is really good quality and in this case the pork belly joint was quite lean which made for a fantastic taste!


Slow-roast pork belly with celeriac & pear mash

Serves 4, with leftovers | Prep 20 minutes | Cook 2hrs and 30 minutes | Easy | Gluten-free
You’ll need
  • 1 1/2 kg pork belly, skin scored;
  • 3 rosemary springs, leaves picked;
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt crystals;
  • 10 black peppercorns;
  • 750g celeriac, cubed;
  • 1 large potato, cubed;
  • 2 ripe pears, peeled and cubed;
  • 3 tbsp double cream;
  • large knob of butter;
  • purple sprouting broccoli, to serve.

For the pork. Take the pork out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking. When ready to cook, heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Pat the pork skin dry. Put the rosemary leaves, salt and pepper in a mini chopper and grind together (or do this with a mortar and pestle). Rub the rosemary salt all over the pork, making sure it gets into the cuts in the skin. Sit the pork in a large roasting tin, ideally on a rack, and roast for 30 mins.

Reduce heat to 170C/150 fan/gas 3 and roast for 1½ hrs more. Turn oven back up to 220C/200C fan/gas 7 and roast for 20-30 mins to crisp. Leave to rest on a board for 10 mins before carving.

For the mash and broccoli. In the last 10 minutes of the pork cooking, put the celeriac and potato in a large pan of water, bring to the boil and cook for 10 mins until just tender. Add the pears and cook for 2 mins more. Meanwhile, cook the broccoli in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, until just tender.  Drain well, then mash until smooth. Beat in a splash of cream and some butter, and serve with the pork and broccoli.


Tip: Prep everything for the mash while the pork is cooking. You can leave the cubed celeriac & potato in cold water until you are ready to cook it.

Recipe from BBCGoodFood, issue March 2012, available here.