As a rich, sweet meat, pork has a natural affinity with the aniseed flavour of fennel, which cuts through it. We also often add some quickly blanched rainbow chard, dressed in olive oil. With about 50 minutes to go, start making the fennel.
2kg/4lb pork belly, skin left on
50ml/2fl oz olive oil
1tbsp fennel seeds
4 carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
2 red onions, peeled and roughly chopped
3 fresh bay leaves
2 dried chillies
500ml/17fl oz white wine
Preheat the oven to 200C/400f/Gas6. Score the skin of the pork at regular intervals. Rub the olive oil into the flesh and season all over with sea salt and the fennel seeds.
Place the pork, skin-side up, in a roasting tray and cook on the middle shelf for 45 minutes. The skin should start to colour and the crackling start to form.
Remove from the oven and lift on to a platter while you scatter the vegetables, herbs and dried chilli into the roasting tray. Pour the wine on top of the vegetables then put the pork back on top, covering the dish tightly with foil.
Lower the temperature to 160C/325F Gas3 and cook for two hours. By this time the pork will be meltingly tender, almost soft enough to eat with a spoon. Serve hot.Reuse content