I don’t know how appetizing this looks, but trust me, it’s delicious.
Every time I ask Nicholas what he would like for Sunday lunch, he inevitably says, “Pork belly.” He loves, loves, loves it. My go-to recipe is this one by Jamie Oliver’s pal Gennaro Contaldo, but we’ve also tried this one from Rachel Allen and this other one from Street Kitchen. The Rachel Allen one was good, but I’ve actually forgotten about, so perhaps that’s the recipe I should use the next time I get a request for it.
I really wanted to try this because of the title. Ten hours in the oven? BRING. IT. ON. There was, however, a minor complication. Thomasina does this overnight in her oven, but due to health and safety concerns, Tim nixed that method. (I don’t understand it myself. We’ve got a sensitve smoke alarm AND a dog, so I think if anything went amiss, something would wake us up.) I can’t argue with safety. So I pretended it was Thanksgiving (or indeed Christmas) and started cooking early in the morning.
Once it’s in the oven, you forget about it. You’ve got to love the front-loaded recipes, whereby you can just get on with things after you’ve got it ready. Equally the borlotti and pea salsa required overnight soaking of the beans (no safety concerns there) and the salsa itself only required a quick trip to the food processor.
The porchetta, and the stuffing, was delicious, but the best thing about this dish was it enabled us to have a spontaneous dinner party. I had just put the pork in the oven and was off to walk the aforementioned dog in the park when I ran into a friend on the way. Knowing the large piece of meat we had in the oven, I asked if she and her partner were available for dinner. Result! They were! Consequently, I didn’t have time to stress about having them over, because dinner was already in the oven. It made for a very chilled day.
We’d recommend this one. 5/5 would eat again.