Crispy Pork Belly and Hasselback Potatoes
with braised fennel, apple & cranberries
1.5kg free range pork belly*
1-2 cups Kosher salt*
1 tbsp toasted & ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp toasted & ground fennel seeds
1 tbsp Chinese five spice
salt & pepper
3-4 cups boiling water
4 large Russet or Sebago potatoes
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
1 large fennel bulb, sliced (reserve the fronds for garnish and the hearts for torching)
2 green apples, cored and sliced
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup sweet sherry
- Pre-heat oven to 180°C.
- Pat the pork belly dry with paper towels.
- Season the meat side with the salt, pepper and toasted spices.
- Place the pork belly, skin-side up on a rack over a lined oven tray. Cover the skin with Kosher salt generously (a few mm thick!) Create a thick layer of salt on top!
- Prep the potatoes: peel and slice in half lengthways. Cut fine slits ¾ way through (tip: use 2 wooden spoons and potato between and cut to prevent cutting through!) Rinse the potatoes well under cold running water to remove the starches and pat dry.
- Drizzle the potatoes with some EVOO and season with salt & pepper, place on a baking tray.
- Add the potatoes to the bottom of oven now and bake for 40 mins at 180°C or until golden.
- Add the boiling water to the pork belly tray, about halfway up.
- Place pork belly in middle of oven for 40 mins also.
- After 40 mins, remove the salt crust off the pork
- Remove the potatoes if done – cover loosely with foil and set aside.
- Turn the oven up to 200-230°C (depending on your oven) and roast the pork for a further 20-30 minutes till the skin is all bubbled and crackled.
- Rest for 15 minutes before slicing. Add the potatoes back into the oven at 200°C to heat up again and crisp the tops (10-15 minutes).
- For the fennel & apple: braise the fennel and apple slices in a large pan or skillet with a little EVOO until softened.
- In a small pot add the cranberries and sherry and simmer to soften
- Slice the fennel hearts in half and use a blow torch to blacken slightly (alternatively use a grill or over a gas flame using tongs)
Serve a portion of the braised fennel and apple, top with a couple of potatoes, the torched fennel and some of the soaked cranberries. Add a piece of the crispy pork belly, add a few dollops and a swoosh of the apple puree season with some Murray River salt!