- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
A dried seed that comes from the fennel herb, fennel seeds look like cumin seeds, only greener,…
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 small bunch thyme, leaves only
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
- 1½ -2kg/3lb 5oz-4lb 8oz piece boneless pork belly, skin scored
- 2 lemons
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
Toast the fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry frying pan for a couple of mins. Pound them together in a pestle and mortar with some flaked sea salt, the thyme and garlic to make a paste. Mix with 2 tbsp olive oil and rub all over the flesh of the pork. Cover and chill, leaving to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, rub the skin of the joint with plenty of salt and 1 tbsp more olive oil. Sit on a wire rack in a roasting tin and roast at 200C/180C fan/gas 6 for 30 mins. After this time, squeeze the lemons over the skin and turn the heat down to 180C/ 160C fan/gas 4. Roast for a further 2 hrs. Finally, turn the heat back up to 220C/ 200C fan/gas 7 and give it a final blast for another 30 mins or so, to finish the crackling. Allow to rest somewhere warm for 20 mins. Carve up into chunks or slices and serve with the braised cabbage (below) and bay-infused potatoes (see 'Goes well with', right).
Braised red cabbage with apple
Slice 3 onions into half-moons and sweat in 2 tbsp olive oil until soft. Add 4 peeled and roughly diced Bramley apples and 1 shredded large red cabbage to the pan. Season, stir and cover with a lid. Turn the heat down and stew for 1 hr, or until cabbage is tender. Check every now and then, adding some water if the pan is looking a bit dry. Remove the lid and stir in 100g soft brown sugar. Add 100ml red wine vinegar, cook for 10 mins until evaporated, season to taste and serve.