Neil Perry's roast pork belly with braised greens

Neil Perry
Neil Perry's roast pork belly with braised dark greens.
Neil Perry's roast pork belly with braised dark greens. Photo: William Meppem

This pork is served with sweet potato or creamy potato purée. Try drizzling it with aged balsamic vinegar for a little acidity.

Ingredients

1kg pork belly

2 tsp red wine vinegar

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 small red onions

250ml aged balsamic vinegar, plus extra to serve

FOR THE BRAISED GREENS

60ml extra virgin olive oil

1 small red onion, finely diced

5 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 anchovy fillets

2 dried long red chillies or 1 tsp dried chilli flakes

2 bunches broccolini, cut into thirds

1 bunch silverbeet, thoroughly washed, stems removed, roughly chopped

2 zucchini, cut into 1cm rounds

1 tbsp lemon juice

finely grated parmesan cheese, to serve

500ml vegetable oil

extra virgin olive oil, to serve

Method

1. The night before cooking, use a clean utility knife or razor blade to score lines in the pork skin from the top to the bottom, about 3mm apart. Cut through the skin but not the flesh. Rub the red wine vinegar into the pork skin. Put the uncovered pork on a plate in the fridge to dry overnight.

2. Cut the onions into wedges and sprinkle with sea salt. After about 2 hours, wash away the salt, pat the onions dry, place in a bowl with the balsamic vinegar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

3. Remove the pork belly from the fridge 2-3 hours before cooking to allow it to come to room temperature.

4. Preheat the oven to 180˚C (160˚C fan-forced). Put the pork on a wire rack in a deep roasting tin, skin side up. Massage sea salt into the skin and roast, undisturbed, for 45-55 minutes. Check the pork's core temperature with a meat thermometer. If it has reached about 71˚C, remove the pork from the oven; if not, return to the oven and keep checking the core temperature. Once it is done, turn the oven down or leave the door ajar so its temperature drops to around 60˚C. Return meat to oven to rest for about 30 minutes. Check that the meat's core temperature rises to about 75˚C.

5. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 5-7 minutes, until golden. Turn heat to low, add garlic, anchovies and chillies. stirring for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic just starts to colour.

6. Add 1 cup of water and the broccolini, silverbeet and zucchini. Cover and simmer, stirring regularly, for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are very tender. Remove the lid and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated (8-10 minutes).

7. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with sea salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan to serve.

8. Just before serving, heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan until it is just smoking. Remove the pork from the oven and carefully spoon the hot oil over the skin to finish the crackling.

9. Cut the pork into strips (often it's easier to cut the crackling with a bread knife). Spoon the greens in the centre of four plates and place strips of pork belly over them. Finish each plate with a little sprinkle of sea salt, a good grind of fresh black pepper, and a little extra virgin olive oil. Eat immediately.