Edinburgh International Conference Centre

Guy Taylor, Leith’s at EICC

Should you be looking for an alternative to roast lamb for the Easter weekend then try this delicious recipe from the EICC Kitchen for Slow Roasted Pork Belly with Fennel Seeds

1.5 kg pork belly
20g fennel seeds
50ml olive oil
2 carrots
2 sticks of celery
1 onion
3 garlic cloves, skin on
Fresh thyme
1 bottle white wine
75 g plain flour

Serves 4 – 6 people

Preheat oven to the 170°C/325°F/gas 3. Score the skin down to the pork (try not to cut the meat), making the cuts very close together.

Put the fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar and grind with a little sea salt until the seeds are smashed, then mixed well with the salt.

Pour the oil over the top of the skin of the pork belly, sprinkle over the fennel and salt mixture and really rub this into the skin so that everything gets in between the skin and down onto the meat.

Peel the onion and wash the carrots and celery well, cut them into large 2 inch pieces and put these into the base of your roasting dish with the whole garlic cloves and thyme sprigs.

Put the seasoned pork belly on top of the vegetables, skin side up, and then put into your oven for 1.5 hours.  After this time, carefully open the oven door and add into the tray ¾ of the white wine, continue cooking for 1 hour.

Remove the meat carefully from the oven and test to see if it pulls apart easily. If not, put back in the oven until the meat is ready then remove from the oven.

Take the meat from the tray and allow to rest whilst you make the gravy. Put the tray of roasted vegetables directly onto your stove top, you should have some wine and juices remaining in the pan, but if not then add a little water.

On a medium heat add in the flour and stir until thickened. Cook for 1 minute then add in the remaining wine. If the sauce is too thick then add a little more white wine. Using a potato masher, mash up the vegetables until you have a delicious thick looking sauce. Cook for 2-3 minutes on a low heat, then taste for seasoning and strain through a sieve.

Remove the crackling from the top of the belly and break up into pieces. You can place the pork belly pieces back in the oven until crisp if required.

Serve with some buttered new season Jersey Royals and the first of the British Asparagus for a roast that will go down a treat at Easter.

Guy Taylor, Head Chef, Leith’s at EICC