With the bank holiday season upon us and hopefully time to relax, hang out with family and friends and most importantly to eat - I thought I would share my all time favourite Sunday feast. It’s a slow roast pork dish with cous cous I make it again and again as it's unbelievably tasty and can be prepared well in advance with minimal work (always a bonus on a lazy Sunday) and does not involve making multiple side dishes.
Fennel and Garlic Belly of Pork with a white wine gravy
- 1.5kg organic / free range pork belly (one piece, skin on and scored)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp ground fennel seeds crushed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 150ml white wine
- splash water
- sea salt & black pepper
Mash the garlic with the fennel seeds and rub all over the flesh of the pork belly. Place on a large board, skin side up, and dry the skin thoroughly. Generously sprinkle with fine sea salt all over the scored skin.
Leave for half an hour, then dust off excess salt.
Preheat oven to 220 degrees Celsius.
Transfer pork to a large roasting tin greased with olive oil and place in the hot oven on top shelf. It is important that the oven is really hot to blister the skin and turn it into crackling. Roast at this high heat for a good 30 mins until hard crackling has formed, then turn the heat down to 190 and transfer to a clean roasting tin. Continue cooking for another 2 to 2.5 hours (35 mins if using loin) until meat is soft and tender. Remove from the oven, transfer to a chopping board and leave to rest, loosely covered with foil to keep warm, for 15 mins.
Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour off any excess oil, and place the orating tin on the hob on a low to med heat. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping the juices off the bottom of the pan and you go. Simmer for a couple of mins to reduce the alcohol, then taste for seasoning. if it tastes too strong, add a splash of water. Keep hot. To serve the pork take it off the ribs beforehand as easier to slice.
Spring cous cous salad
- 2 cups of cous cous (regular or whole wheat)
- Boiling water
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper
- 1 large courgette
- 1 cup fresh shelled peas raw or lightly blanched in boiling water (frozen work equally well – just let them thaw in hot water and drain)
- 1 cup fresh corn kernels (as above)
- Handful of fresh chopped dill & flat leaf parsley
- Juice of 1 lemon
Put the cous cous into a bowl – add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a little salt & pepper. Mix together before adding just enough boiling water to cover the cous cous – be careful not to over add water as it will become a sticky mess. Be cautious and you can always add more hot water later. Cover with a plate or cling film and leave to soak. After around 5-10 mins remove the lid and give the cous cous a good fluff up with a fork. If it looks too dry add a little more boiling water and repeat the process. You should have nice moist individual grains.
Use a peeler to make ribbons from the courgette – work along the length of the courgette until you come to the soft seeded centre – keep turning the courgette so you ribbon 4 sides until you are left with only the soft centre. Discard this.
Add all the other vegetables, chopped herbs, and juice of 1 lemon and another good glug of olive oil and salt & pepper to taste. Give everything a good stir and then serve in a nice bowl on the centre of the table with the pork or any other meat / fish dishes or even on it's own. Warm or cold, it doesn’t matter. This dish also keeps well in the fridge for a day or two.