2 tablespoons fennel seeds
freshly ground black pepper
4 bulbs of fennel, cut into sixths, herby tops removed and reserved
1/4 C brown sugar.
a small bunch of thyme, leaves removed
5 cloves of garlic, unpeeled
1 750 ml bottle of wine a good white Burgundy would be lovely for pig and cook. Wink
Preheat the oven to its maximum temperature.
Using an extremely sharp knife, score the skin of the pork belly in deep vertical lines. Try to get them as close together as possible and as parallel as possible.
Crush the fennel seeds and 1 tablespoon of sea salt and b sugar until you have a fine powder. Massage this powder into the skin.
In a roasting pan toss the fresh fennel, thyme, garlic, olive oil, and some salt and pepper. Place the pork belly (skin side up) on top.
Put the pan in the preheated oven. After 10 minutes turn the heat down to 325 degrees and roast the pork for a further hour.
After 1 hour at 325 degrees, remove the pan from the oven and drain off the fat and save for fryin up some taters.... Add the white wine and stir.
Put the pan back in the oven for another hour.
Remove the pan from the oven. Remove the fennel from the pan using a slotted spoon. Keep it warm.
Put the pork back into the oven for a further hour until the skin is golden and crisp. If the wine starts to evaporate during this time, add a splash more wine, or a splash of stock.
Allow the pork to rest on a cutting board for 10 minutes.
You know you've done good if the skin is crispy,carmalized and practically winking at you, the belly itself should be spreadable not meat jello. Save those pan drippings reduce by a third add a pat of (my raw milk sweet cream cultured) butter for a heavenly sauce to drizzle over this piggy delight. Fry up some fingerlings in the pork fat reserve . Pop open a bottle of Kabinett(needs the acid to balance) and break into some crusty bread and a dollup of Stone fruit Chutney....ohhh Sweet Cheesus we have a party in our mouth.
That my friends and countrymen is how you do Pork Belly ........mama loves you