Welcome to Little Miss Cookalot

I love to cook and try new dishes, and more often than not I am asked for the recipe, so I decided to start Little Miss Cookalot as a way of sharing my successes, and failures in the kitchen. The recipes that you find on LMC are what you would find if you came to my house. As a mother of two, there is a focus on food for fussy eaters and you may also notice I like to bake... Most recipes here are amended from well known chefs/cookbook authors, and you will find the source at the bottom of each recipe unless its entirely my own creation. Check back regularly as I hope to add at least 2 new recipes every week.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cider Roasted Pork Belly

1kg pork belly
sea salt
8 sprigs lemon thyme
1 1/2C cider

Preheat oven to 220C or the hottest your oven will go.  Score the skin at even intervals using a sharp knife.  Place the pork in a baking dish and generously rub salt into the skin.  Tuck the lemon thyme under the pork and roast for 45 mins or until the skin has crackled and is crisp.  Reduce the heat to 120C.  Carefully add enough cider to almost cover the meat, but not the skin of the pork.  Bake approx 1 hour, until the pork is tender and the cider has reduced.  To serve cut the pork into slices and serve with pan juices. 

I don't like pork, but I know lots of my family do, so I wanted to know how to cook it.  My brother was in town so I asked him to show me how he does it.  Well wouldn't you know he likes Donna Hay too, and so we cooked it together.  We did 2 pork bellies, and whilst the recipe says to use a paper towel and remove damp from skin before coating with salt, I forgot to do that I mine.....but my crackling was far more crackly than my brothers (Ive since seen on Masterchef that they like to dip the pork in boiling water  for a crunchier crackling).  So I guess see what works for you!   Oh and for someone who doesn't like pork (and hasn't for pretty much all my life) - well I had to try a bit, and the crackling was delicious and I didn't mind the pork either.  I would never eat a whole serve, but next time I might have a few bites! 

If you don't have lemon thyme, use normal thyme and grate a little lemon zest over it.  Actual recipe is served with roasted fennel (put fennel into roasting dish immediately prior to cider), but we did the same with baby carrots and parsnips which were delicious.

Source:  Donna Hay - fast, fresh, simple

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