Tim Noakes Pork Belly with Asian Basting
Sunday-night blues are a very real condition in my opinion and if they are not already starting, the symptoms are almost always triggered by the Carte Blanche theme music. There are certain specifics that aggravate the blues; including but not limited to having spent the whole of Sunday as a resident of hang city, if you happen to be going back to varsity or school after a holiday or just the fact that it is Sunday and Monday is what comes next.
Sundays are just these weird days, where somehow your kitchen tends to make you feel like most girls do when they stare at their cupboard, full of clothes , before declaring that there is nothing to wear. Even if, by some miracle and lack of weekend laziness,your kitchen is full of food it somehow feels like all you have left to eat is a piece of toast and that just means Monday wins even more. Roast anything is great because all you have to do is get yourself off the couch long enough to put it in the oven, and then leave it to… um… do itself. So if you want to beat Monday at its own game this time around, I suggest finding some people that you can stand to sit around a table and share a meal with and let this delicious roast pork belly do the rest.
½ bunch of celery
2 sweet potatoes
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1Tbsp red wine vinegar
1Tbsp Hoisan sauce
1.6kg pork belly
1 Tbsp honey
2 cloves garlic
1tsp dried origanum
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp olive oil
How to make delicious happen
1. Preheat the oven to 220° C
2. Wash your veggies. The recipe in the book was pretty specific, but if you happen to have 4 carrots instead of 5 floating around your fridge, I’m pretty sure Tim Noakes wouldn’t mind. Roughly chop all of your veg, and put them into a large baking dish. A baking tray will not be a vibe once you add the liquid – so make sure its quite a deep baking tray.
3. Mix the soy sauce, red wine vinegar and the hoisin sauce together in a bowl and set aside. Congratulations, you just made and Asian glaze for your pork belly you little chef you (#masterchef).
4. If you have a mortar and pestle, then you are fancier than me and you should use it, because, well… who doesn’t like to be fancy every now and then. If not, then put the non-pork belly ingredients together in a food processor and mix together to make the rub. If you don’t even have one of those small hand held food processors then use crushed garlic instead of whole cloves, a bowl and a spoon and you can skip arms at the gym this week.
5. Rub your belly (pork belly, not your actual belly) with the spices and put it (your pork belly, not your belly) on your “nest of veggies” – Tim Noakes.
6. Put two cups of water in the baking dish. If you didn’t read the instructions properly, proceed straight to jail, do not pass begin, do not collect R200 and I told you so.
7. Place it in the oven for 20 minutes.
8. Turn the oven down to 160°C and cook for a further one hour and 40 minutes, basting the pork belly every 20 minutes with the juices from the baking dish and the Asian glaze. *
* If you, like me, are not so great at the timing part of this and get a little bit ahead of yourself – don’t worry. You can turn the temperature to 140°C and cook for even longer (I take no responsibility for bad maths-ing that results in more than a two hour timing issue)