This fabulous recipe will need to be prepared the day before to ensure the pork belly absorbs all of the flavours of smoked paprika and apple condiment and the skin dries out – ready for that perfectly crisp crackling!

Serves 4

800g-1kg pork belly, skin scored
½ tsp Pons hot smoked paprika flakes, plus extra to serve
¾ cup Pons apple condiment
Pons extra virgin olive oil (EVO)
Salt flakes
250g Hunt Farm baby carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
250g Hunt Farm baby purple carrots, scrubbed and trimmed
12 Pons sweet garlic cloves
2 Tbsp roughly chopped Italian parsley

Start this recipe the day before. Rub the meat only (not the skin) with smoked paprika flakes and pat the skin dry with paper towels. Choose a ceramic baking dish that is not too much bigger than the size of the pork belly and pour in the apple condiment. Place the pork skin-side up, into the dish so that the meat is sitting in the apple condiment but not the skin. Refrigerate overnight, uncovered, to marinate the meat and for the skin to dry out, which will produce better crackling.

Next day, bring the pork and marinade to room temperature. Preheat oven to 220°C. Rub the pork skin with 1 tablespoon of EVO and then rub liberally with salt; this helps the fat run out and the skin turn into lovely crisp crackling. Place in the oven to roast for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 170°C and continue roasting for 2 hours, checking occasionally and topping up the liquid with a little water if it reduces too much.

Place the carrots and garlic into a small roasting pan. Drizzle with EVO and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven alongside the pork to roast for 30-40 minutes or until tender.

The pork skin should have crackled by the end of cooking but if not then place under a hot grill for 5-10 minutes to crisp the crackling. Remove pork from the oven and set aside in a warm place to rest for 10 minutes before carving. Taste and adjust consistency and seasoning of the caramelised pan juices with salt and pepper and a little more apple condiment, if necessary. Skim off any fat and then strain into a small sauce jug to serve alongside the pork.

Cut the pork into 1½-2cm thick slices. Serve with the roast carrots and garlic, scattered with parsley and an extra grinding of smoked paprika flakes.

Recipe by Julie Le Clerc



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