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Members' Recipes Archive

March 2008
Membrillo and Pepper-Glazed Belly Pork
Christine McFadden

Membrillo and Pepper-Glazed Belly Pork

By: Christine McFadden

Serves: 4

Cookery book author and twice nominated for World Food Media Awards, Christine McFadden, is a food writer with a passion for spice. Christine, a Guild of Food Writers member, is fascinated by how seasonings both transform the character of a dish - and have an impact on politics, culture and economics. She is an active member of the Slow Food movement.
This recipe is from Christine’s latest book Pepper- the spice that changed the world, published by Absolute Press in February 2008.
This is bone-sucking stuff, definitely for eating with your fingers. Membrillo, made from the fragrant quince, is delicious with pork, its unmistakable sweetness blending perfectly with fennel and black pepper.

Ingredients:

1.5kg of pork belly in one piece
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for rubbing in
1/2 tbsp black peppercorns, freshly ground
1 tsp fennel seeds, crushed
2 tsp sea salt flakes
125g membrillo (quince paste)
2 tbsp lemon juice

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/gas 7. Using a sharp knife (a Stanley knife is perfect), score the skin through the fat, but not the flesh, making diagonal slashes about 2cm apart. Then cut the meat into eight strips measuring about 13x5cm.
2. Massage a lavish amount of olive oil into the pork skin then sprinkle with the pepper, fennel seeds and sea salt, rubbing well into the slashes. Arrange skin-side up on a rack in a shallow roasting pan, and roast for 20 minutes.
3. While the meat is sizzling away, put the membrillo, lemon juice and the 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a small saucepan. Stir over low heat until melted, then let it bubble gently for a minute or two until slightly syrupy.
4. Take the meat out of the oven and reduce the temperature to 180°C/gas 4. Brush the membrillo glaze over the meat, making sure it gets into all the crevices. Put the meat back in the oven and roast for 30-35 minutes, basting with the glaze every 10 minutes or so.
5. By now the skin should be starting to crackle. Raise the heat to 220°C/gas 7, or as high as your oven will go. Brush once more with the glaze then give the meat a final blast for 5-10 minutes to encourage the crackling to crackle uniformly.
6. Once the meat is golden and stickily crisp, leave to rest in a warm place for 15 minutes. Drizzle with any remaining glaze before serving.

© Recipe copyright 2008 Christine McFadden

 

Author: Christine McFadden Email:


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