The Saturday Experiment: Butchery and Belly of Pork

Saturday, always the day for messing around in the Kitchen and this week, Belly of Pork was on the menu.  It is one of my favourite cuts of meat and is still relatively cheap.  I have a variety of recipes for it including, stuffing it with mango and rolling it, cubing it for stews etc it is the ever versatile and ever tasty.

This week I was a little unsure what to do with it, I’ve been reading up on slow cooking and slow roasting (I’m a fan of things you can leave to their own devices) and there are plenty of ideas for Belly of Pork.

After coming back from the butchers weighed down with the weeks meat order it was down to business, the belly.  I had my butcher leave the bones in and  just hand it to me in its ‘raw’ state.  My reasoning behind it, I wanted to try my hand at a little butchery myself.  I like to think I have fairly good knife skills when it comes to cooking, although I still can’t carve a chicken all the well.  With my success with portioning a chicken a few weeks back for Southern Fried Chicken, I thought ihad have a go at getting the ribs out of the belly.

It was actually surprisingly easy, although I have spent a good while watching how my butcher does it.  But after a few strokes of my knife I had a boneless Belly of Pork ready for the oven and a lovely rack of ribs to do with what I liked, and that was to smother it in BBQ sauce and cook it up for lunch.

Sometimes the quick ‘that’ll do approach’ seems to work for me.  Not having a BBQ marinade in the house it was a quick splodge of brown sauce, tomato sauce, some black treacle that seems to have been in the cupboard forever (I don’t actually remember ever buying it) and some sweet chilli sauce, that made up my marinade.  It worked rather nicely with the ribs especially as I grilled them, which gave a charred flavour (mainly because the sugar in the sauces caught a little but it all added to the flavour).

For the Belly of Pork itself, the cooking was so easy it’s unbelievable, I rubbed it with some oil, seasoning the skin (for good crackling) and then stuck it in the oven on high (Gas 9) for 45 minutes and then turned it down to slow and left it in the oven gently cooking for  6 hours.  Honestly if you have the inclination on a Saturday or any day shove a joint in the oven and leave for hours. You won’t be disappointed!!


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