RECIPE. Slow-roast pork belly with warm new potato salad and smoked bacon runner beans, as KADUMUKASA KIRONDE II writes.
The recipe serves four:
1 kg boned pork belly, rind left on and scored
1 tablespoon olive oil
Maldon sea salt
A twist of black pepper
For the potato salad:
700g new potatoes
1-2 tablespoons lemon juice
4 spring onions, finely shredded or 1 heaped tablespoon chopped chives, or both
150 ml crème fraiche
For the runner beans:
450g runner beans, finely sliced
100g pancetta, diced
1 tablespoons Dijon or wholegrain mustard
50g unsalted butter, diced
1. Season the meat side of the pork with salt and pepper. Turn the belly joint, brush with the olive oil and season with a generous sprinkling of salt. Place the belly, rind side up, on a wire rack sitting over a baking tray. Place in an oven that is preheated to 160˚C/325˚F or gas mark 3 and roast for three hours. During this time, the melting fat will baste the meat. When cooked, the joint should be crisp on top with a super succulent texture beneath, so soft will carve with a spoon. Remove the pork from the oven and leave to rest until warm.
2. Meanwhile, cook the new potatoes in boiling salted water until tender. Drain well, cut each potato in half and season with salt and pepper. Stir together the olive oil and lemon juice, sprinkle this over the mixture of potatoes and spoon through to ensure that all of them are coated. Cover and keep warm.
3. The sliced runner beans can be cooked at the last moment. Plunge them in boiling salted water and simmer until tender. Depending on their thickness, this can take between one to five minutes. Drain well and set aside. The pancetta can be crisped in advance. Heat a frying pan and when it is warm, add the pancetta and fry over medium heat. The fat will be released, the pancetta slowly becoming crisp. Drain and add to the runner beans.
4. Just before serving, mix the shredded spring onion or chives and the crème fraiche with the warm potatoes. To finish the runner beans, heat a few tablespoons of water in a small saucepan with the mustard. Once simmering, whisk in the butter until emulsified, to create a loose mustard butter sauce. Season with a pinch of salt and a twist of pepper.
5. Divide the pork belly into four strips, placing each on a plate with the runner beans and pancetta. Drizzle the beans with the mustard butter sauce and offer the potato salad separately.