Philippa kindly kindly updated this for us for us, and it renders inexpensive belly rashers, rind and all, into melt-in-the-mouth luxury, merely by dint of three hours in a slow oven while you embrace the festive rush like a headless chicken. Bliss to come home to, and a complete treat with a glass of mature demi-sec or dryish moelleux Vouvray, though it will also work very well with a velvety, but not too heavy, red.
Christmas Eve Pork
Cooking time 3½ hours
- For 4-5 people, lay 1kg halved lean-end belly pork rashers (boneless but with rind on) in a single layer in a baking dish. Push 12 prunes into the gaps. Scatter generously with lemon thyme leaves, chopped coriander and parsley.
- Add some crushed garlic, salt, pepper and a corner of a chicken stock cube, crumbled. Veil the meat with paper-thin slices of onion and pour on 1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar mixed with 300ml unsweetened grape juice. Cover tightly with oiled greaseproof and foil.
- Put the dish in the oven and set the timer to switch on to 150C/Gas 3 to bake the pork in time for dinner. It will take three and a half hours but a little longer will not hurt. By then, it will be so tender that, as Philippa writes, 'even the toothless would rejoice in it.' Good accompaniments are mashed potatoes, and a salad of peppery leaves.