Blog Mediterranean Roast Pork Belly with Apple, Fennel & Radish Slaw

Mediterranean Roast Pork Belly with Apple, Fennel & Radish Slaw

24 April 2018

Mediterranean Roast Pork Belly with Apple, Fennel & Radish Slaw

For Rand-per-kilo value, pork is pretty much the most affordable protein you can turn to. There is almost no limit to what you can do with this versatile kitchen all-star, but for us it finds its finest expression when roasted. Of course it’s all about the crackling to meat ratio – the more crackling, the better. And that’s where our friend, belly pork comes in. An inch-thick slab of juicy meat topped with plenty of crunchy crackle is pretty much roast pork heaven.

Pork marries incredibly well with so many herbs and spices, but especially rosemary. With its rosemary-led notes, the Cape Herb and Spice Mediterranean Roast Rub is just perfect with roast pork. A generous sprinkle rubbed into the meat, followed by a drizzle of olive oil and on a bed of onions and carrots the belly goes, then straight into the oven to roast until juicy crackling perfection. This is heart-warming autumn on a plate.

Pork doesn’t just love rosemary (and sage, and thyme, and cumin and and and…) - it also goes incredibly well with fruit. Yes, the fruity glut of summer may be over, but there is still plenty to be excited about – like apples. Crunchy, crisp and juicy, you could pop some in the roasting tray with your belly pork. Our preference, however, is the contrast of a fresh slaw to counterbalance all that porky richness. Grab plump red autumnal beauties, cut them matchstick thin and add to finely sliced fennel and radish, also in season now. A drizzle of fresh zesty lemon and you’re done – a real mid-autumn family treat and more than special enough to entertain with.

-What You Need-

Pork belly

Cape Herb & Spice Mediterranean Roasts Rub

Olive oil

Large white or red onions, peeled & quartered

Large carrots, quartered

Large or baby fennel, finely sliced (a mandolin is handy)

Large red apples, cut into match sticks and drizzled with lemon juice to prevent discolouring

Radish, finely sliced

-What To Do-

Use a very sharp knife (NT cutters work really well) to make diagonal slices in the pork skin, taking care to cut only through the skin and not the meat. Rub a generous amount of Cape Herb & Spice Mediterranean Roasts Rub into the slices and sprinkle the sides and underside of the belly as well. Set aside to infuse for half an hour.

In the meantime, preheat your oven to the highest heat setting possible. Put the onions and carrots in a roasting dish, put the belly on top and drizzle with olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes on this very high setting (it helps to give the crackling a head start), then turn the oven right down to 160˚ C and roast for 60-90 minutes until juicily tender. If the crackling is not sufficiently crisp for your liking at the end of this, remove the pork from the oven, heat your grill real hot and then pop the belly under the grill for a minute or two. Take care to watch it though, you don’t want charcoal.

Toss the fennel, apple and radish, give it a final squirt of fresh lemon or lime juice then tuck in!

Recipe concept & photography by Lizet Hartley.

Lizet Hartley is a freelance stills and reel food stylist, food photographer and recipe developer. In her spare time she – rather predictably – cooks. Get more of her recipes on her blog at http://www.melkkos-merlot.co.za