Pot-roasted pork belly with nectarines & balsamic

by Celia Harvey | Cuisine issue #150
Serves: 6Rolling the pork belly and covering it during cooking ensures retention of juices and even cooking. Look for an even meat-to-fat ratio when buying your pork.

The nectarines and vinegar add fruity and sharp notes to the dish, contrasting well with the rich pork.

2kg piece pork belly
2 cloves garlic, crushed to a paste with a pinch of salt
2 teaspoons chopped thyme
2 teaspoons chopped rosemary
2 teaspoons chopped sage
100ml balsamic vinegar, plus 1 tablespoon extra
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 nectarines, stoned and cut into wedges
250ml chicken stock
250ml red wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Use a sharp knife to score the skin of the pork all over, cutting just down to the meat. Place the pork skin side down and season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Rub the garlic paste and chopped herbs over the pork flesh.

Roll the pork up lengthways to form a cylinder shape and tie with string at regular intervals to secure. Brush the skin with the tablespoon of vinegar and season with salt.

Heat the oil in a casserole dish big enough to fit the pork snugly. Add the pork and nectarines and brown on all sides then add the stock, wine and remaining vinegar. Sprinkle the sugar over the pork then cover tightly with foil and a lid.

Reduce the heat to low and cook for 11⁄2 hours, basting occasionally, or until the pork is tender and cooked through.

Serve thick slices of the pork with the nectarines, drizzled with the remaining cooking juices. Serve with soft polenta or a puree of potatoes and soft green herbs.

Wine - A round, rich Hawke’s Bay chardonnay.

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