I wanted to make a pork recipe using local cider vinegar that you can just chuck in the oven and eat the next day. The inspiration was Chinese, the flavour on the sweet/sour side. If you had some fresh ginger, a couple of slices probably wouldn’t hurt, either.
- 2 kg chunk pork belly
- 8 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 onions, peeled and finely sliced
- 3 whole star anise
- 3 tbsp brown sugar
- 3 tbsp cider vinegar
- salt, to taste
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time overnight
Preheat the oven to 150°C.
Rub the pork belly with the garlic all over, massaging in a bit. Place in a large roasting tray and scatter the onion over. Add the star anise, brown sugar and cider vinegar. Season to taste, cover tightly with foil and bake for about 4 hours, or until the meat is tender.
I like to skim the fat off the sauce, which is easiest if you keep the meat and sauce separate and refrigerate it first. Cut the pork into 10 even sized portions. When ready to serve, you can just reheat the pork in the sauce, or drain and dry it well and fry or roast in a very hot oven to caramelise it a bit. The sugars will burn if you’re not careful, though.
Serve with the cooking juices, some stir-fried gai lan and hot steamed jasmine rice. A hot sambal makes a nice accompaniment.