pork belly with noodles, coriander & tomatoes

You can use the roasting method here for a simple pork belly roast to be served just as it comes.

Serves 4-6 people

lkg piece free-range bone-in pork belly, cut from the thick end, skin scored (or ask your butcher to  
                                debone it)
8-12 spring onions, trimmed, tops reserved
4 cloves of garlic, sliced
1 finger-sized piece of root ginger, thinly sliced
I medium-hot red chilli, roughly chopped
A large bunch of coriander, stalks removed and reserved
Zest of I large lime, finely pared, plus some of the juice
A pinch of sugar
Tamari, or soy sauce, to taste
2-3 nests of dried egg noodles (about 200g)
A drop of rapeseed or sesame oil
200g cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 Remove the bones from the pork starting in the thickest corner, use a sharp meat-filleting knife to make a cut immediately under the ribs. Keeping the knife tight to the underside of the bones, work carefully and slowly down from the comer, gradually releasing the ribs from the meat until you can remove them, all in one piece. You could get your butcher to do this.

2 Cut between the hones to release the individual ribs. Place these in a stockpot with the spring onion tops, garlic, ginger, chilli, coriander stalks and lime zest. Pour 1 litre of water over and bring to a gentle simmer over a medium heat. Cook for l' z hours.

3 Heat the oven to 200C (220C non-fan). Place the boned pork, skin side up. in a roasting tin. Season well with salt and pepper and cook in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, or until the skin starts to blister. This is the beginning of your crackling — don't be afraid to give the joint another 5-10 minutes at this high heat to get that blistering going (but do watch that the juices aren't burning).

4 Turn the heat down to 130C (150C non-fan) and add half a glass of water to the tin. Cook the pork for 3 hours. Add a little more water if you need to during cooking to stop the juices from the pork burning.

5 Once the stock is ready, pass it through a fine sieve into a clean pan. Season with salt, a pinch of sugar, tamari or soy and lime juice to taste.

6 Remove the pork from the oven and allow it to rest while you cook the noodles according to the packet instructions. Drain, refresh under cold water, then drain again and toss with the tiniest drop of oil, just to stop them sticking together.

7 To serve, reheat the pork stock. Remove the crackling from the pork and snap it into pieces (give it a final blast under the grill if it's not quite crisp enough). Slice the spring onions on the diagonal and tear the pork roughly into pieces.
8 Divide the pork between large warmed bowls and add the noodles, tomatoes and spring onions. Ladle the stock into the bowls and finish with some crackling and a scattering of coriander leaves.





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