Roasted Pork Belly with Vegetables From The Garden

roast pork belly
We here at foodisthebestshitever are venturing forward in a new direction, we shall go forth and expand our culinary vision and facilitate this vision through the exploration of contemporary cuisines previously unbeknownst to us. We shall visit regions previously deemed out of reach, in the spirit of searching out something totally new and different.

Yes folks, today we shall be exploring the wonderful work of… well… pork.

Ok, you got me. I’m not doing anything profound or original for this blog. I am merely cooking pork again and am trying to make myself feel better about my addiction. I use the local free-range pork if that’s any conciliation for the armchair activists out there.

Today I’m talking pork belly.

Pork belly is one of my favouritest pieces of meat of all time. If I were a gay man I still think pork belly would be at the top of my favourite meat list. There is not a whole heap I don’t like about pork belly; it is flavoursome, luscious, tasty, delicious, really good and a whole heap of other synonyms for the same word. It is a meal that I always want a little more of, and I always cook extra so I have leftovers for the next day… and mostly that extra pork even makes it to the next day. Actually, a lot of the time we eat it all on the night… well, most of the time. You see, Jennee brings her “we all know the crackling won’t be any good tomorrow” game to the table (what I like to call her A game) and generally manages to convince us that it’s OK to finish the lot now because it is a certainty the crackling will contract a disease rendering it flaccid and inedible, in turn contaminating the remaining pork and making it unfit for human consumption.
Well, this night I was going to take my chances with flaccid crackling and rancid meat, as I was already hella keen on pork belly for my dinner again tomorrow. Hella keen…

We have had a good harvest of heirloom carrots and kale so they featured heavily in the meal. This is truly my favourite eating; food that comes from our own garden or is grown by people close to us. Food that was cared for before it hit the pan. Food that, well, food that just doesn’t come from one of the big supermarkets really…

The belly didn't really fit into the pan but eventually it did after a bit of post coital shrinkage set in
The belly didn’t really fit into the pan but eventually it did after a bit of post coital shrinkage set in

Porky belly all cooked up
Porky belly all cooked up
Those roast vegetables were damn fine
Those roast vegetables were damn fine

Yes, those roast vegetables
Yes, those roast vegetables

ROASTED PORK BELLY with VEGETABLES FROM THE GARDEN (serves 4)

1.5 – 2kg pork belly. That should be enough for leftovers…
½ – 1 teaspoon garlic powder
A good pinch of salt and pepper
A selection of vegetables from the garden/fridge. We had potatoes, heirloom carrots, radish and onion
½ tablespoon Chinese black vinegar
A bit more seasoning
Olive oil
Sautéed curly kale and jagallo nero (a spindly awesome type of kale) with oyster sauce and carrot top salsa verde to serve

• Pre heat oven to 160C
• Season pork belly with salt, pepper and garlic powder
• Roast pork belly in oven for 2.5-3 hours until the smell causes you mouth to water and your loins to stir, and it is super tender
• While pork is cooking chop your assorted vegetables into fairly similar sized chunks. Put them into a separate oven dish, lube up with a splash of rendered fat from the pork belly, splash with the vinegar and season. After the pork has been cooking for 1.5 hours the vegetables can go into the oven too. Roast for one hour or until vegetables are just cooked, and then remove from oven until pork is ready. Once pork is ready turn the oven up to 180-200C and return the vegetables to the oven for a final five to ten minutes to get a bit of crispness, and that should do the job on the pork crackling for you too (if crackling is being a bit stubborn a few minutes under the grill (broiler) will sort it out)
• Carve the pork and serve with roast vegetables, carrot top salsa verde and sautéed greens… and try not to eat it all tonight…

One more look at that pork belly
One more look at that pork belly

Smoky Nom Noms Pork Loin for the Blogiversary

smoked pork loin
It came to passing that this week was foodisthebestshitever’s third year blogiversary or birthday or whatever you may like to call it.

What sort of celebration did we have, I hear you ask. A massive party with fire breathers and acrobats and a big bear with a little hat and waistcoat? A feast of epic proportions? A celebration of life and an alignment of our shakras by an ancient druid to enable clear vision and strength for the next year this little project will face?

That carrot and cucumber salad
That carrot and cucumber salad

No. no, no. None of the above.

This little blog was sent nary card nor well wishing from admiring fans or family. It was the orphaned child of the food blog world. Even I, as it’s adopted father, failed to realise it’s birthday had passed until a day or two after the event and then what? Did I try and make things better by turning up with gifts, a card with really nice words written in it that I had clearly paid someone else to write and arms full of adoration and love? Nope. No nominations for blog father of the year coming in today, quite possibly a few for non-sensible shite dribbler of the year, but none for blog father that’s for sure.

Get it together
Get it together

One thing I did do was drink a few beers, a little bit of wine and quite possibly even a vodka or two and then made myself a little smoked pork loin for din dins. It was smoky and sticky and delicious, and then the next day in a sandwich with egg and brown sauce and the dirty hangover that could’ve so easily edged it’s way into my day didn’t even get a look in. Suck shit dirty hangover.
Smoked pork, egg and brown sauce sandwich for breakfast. Oh dear good lord this was the business
Smoked pork, egg and brown sauce sandwich for breakfast. Oh dear good lord this was the business

Smoky pork loin goodness
Smoky pork loin goodness

SMOKY NOM NOMS PORK LOIN

1.5kg pork loin (mine came from Cromwell Farms)
¼ cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons honey (straight from Cromwell Farms hives)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

• Mix mustard, honey and vinegar together and rub that goodness all over the pork. Really give it some love. Set aside for an hour or two to get a little sexier
• Put in your webber/smoker/grill/oven on low-medium heat (160-170C) for an hour or so
• Rest for 15 minutes, slice and eat it in your face
• Smile and be proud that you did something really nice with a pile of stuff from a farm just up the road
• Tomorrow you can put the leftover pork in a sandwich with your own chooks eggs, Phil’s brown sauce and bread from Jordans Organic Bakery in Mullumbimby. Locavore belly filling satisfaction at it’s very finest!

Pretty carrots...
Pretty carrots…

HEIRLOOM CARROT & CUCUMBER SALAD

A cucumber, a handful of carrots and a little parsley and mint all from the back garden, sliced thinly on the diagonal
A splash white wine vinegar
A splash of olive oil
Seasoning
• Get it all together and check seasoning
• Let it sit for 5-10 minutes for flavours to mingle and really get to know each other
• Feel free to beam with pride that everything for this salad came from your own garden
• In hindsight, this really was a great celebration of simple home-grown goodness that this blog seems to be all about… I think…