Ballymaloe inspired Belly of Pork

Janet Wynne Evans welcomes a bit of seasonal Irish Mist

Ballymaloe-inspired belly of pork

Good food is about great ingredients and an important one in the success of the Ballymaloe House in Shanagarry, County Cork, is brilliant daughters-in-law. First there was Myrtle Allen, who grasped the publishing nettle in 1977 with the Ballymaloe Cookbook, then came her daughter-in-law Darina, and, most recently, Darina’s own daughter-in-law Rachel, the television chef. It is to Darina’s book, Easy Entertaining. that I turn for one of the most versatile recipes ever for that most crunch-friendly of cuts, belly of pork, and I hope I may be forgiven for any liberties taken with it.

The possibilities, not to mention the rhyming potential, are endless, so vary the spicing to match your chosen bottle. For a full-blooded garnacha, it could just as easily be cumin, coriander and smoked paprika - El Belly, perhaps, with apologies to molecular gastronomist Ferran Adría. Dried Mediterranean herbs, garlic salt and fennel seeds would favour a velvety sangiovese or primitivo (Ciao, Belly?). The spicy feel of Delhi Belly below would suit gewürztraminer or a ripe, fruity Claret.

Ballymaloe-inspired belly of pork

  • 2.25kg pork belly in one piece, rind on
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • A heaped teaspoon of cumin seeds
  • A teaspoon of coriander seeds
  • Seeds of 6 -8 cardamom pods
  • Half a star anise
  • A pinch of mustard seeds
  • A pinch of fenugreek seeds

Note the exact weight of the pork and score the rind along the grain at 5mm intervals - use a Stanley knife or get Stan the butcher to do it. Toast the whole spices gently in a dry pan until your kitchen smells like A Passage to India but not The Towering Inferno. Pulverise them with a pestle or use a coffee-grinder but do keep a spare one for this purpose unless you are partial to curried coffee. Preheat the oven to 160ºC/320ºF/Gas 5. Have two roasting tins ready, and a wire rack which fits both. Season the pork well and rub it all over with the ground spices. Boil a kettle and pour about half an inch of water into one of the tins. Put the rack into the tin and the pork on top. Roast for 30-35 mins per 450g. Baste now and then with the rendered fat.

When the meat juices run clear the meat is cooked. Remove the tin and increase the temp to 230ºC/450ºF/Gas 8. Transfer the pork, on its rack, to tin number two. Return to the oven for 10-15 mins to crisp up the crackling but don’t let it burn.

Rest the meat in a warm place for 15 mins uncovered. Steam makes crackling soggy, so either use the switched-off oven with the door open, a low top oven or a hot tray.

Wilted greens, a bit of wild rice and a glass either of dryish Alsace gewurztraminer or a fruity Saint-Emilion would work well.

Easy Entertaining by Darina Allen is published by Kyle Cathie

Members' Comments (0)

There are no comments for this article.
Society Promise
Members before profit
Awards

Our website uses cookies with the aim of providing you with a better service. By using this website you consent to The Wine Society using cookies in accordance with our policy.

Close

4.4. Cookie Policy

By using The Wine Society website, you agree to cookies being used in accordance with the policy outlined below. If you do not agree to this, you must alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you or cease using the website.

The Wine Society uses cookies to enable easy navigation and shopping on the website. We take the privacy of all who use our website very seriously and ensure that our use of cookies complies with current EU legislation. The following guide outlines what cookies are, the types of cookies used on The Society's website and how they work.

You may alter your browser settings to turn off cookies or block those types which are unacceptable to you, but this will cause difficulties when accessing and using some areas of the site. Instructions on how to do this can also be found below.

4.4.1. What are 'Cookies'?

  • Most major websites use cookies.
  • A cookie is a very small data file placed on your hard drive by a web page server. It is essentially your access card, and cannot be executed as code or deliver viruses. It is uniquely yours and can only be read by the server that gave it to you.
  • Cookies cannot be used by themselves to identify you.
  • The purpose of a basic cookie is to tell the server that you returned to that web page or have items in your basket. Without cookies, websites and their servers have no memory. A cookie, like a key, enables swift passage from one place to the next.
  • Without a cookie every time you open a new web page the server where that page is stored will treat you like a completely new visitor.
  • More recently, cookies have also been used to collect information about the user which allows a profile of their preferences and interests to be created so that they can be served with interest-based rather than generic information about available goods and services.

4.4.2. How do Cookies help The Wine Society?

Cookies allow our website to function effectively. Cookies also help us to arrange content to match your preferred interests more quickly. We can learn what information is important to our visitors, and what isn't.

4.4.3. How does The Wine Society use cookies?

The Wine Society does not accept advertising from third parties and therefore, as a rule, does not serve third-party cookies. Exceptions to this include performance/analytical cookies (see below), used anonymously to improve the way our website works, the provision of personalised recommendations, and occasions when we may team up with suppliers to offer special discounts on goods or services.

The Society uses technology to track the patterns of behaviour of visitors to our site.

4.4.4. What type of cookies does The Wine Society use?

We use the following three types of cookies:

4.4.4.1. Strictly Necessary Cookies
These cookies are required for the operation of our website, enabling you to move around the website and use its features, such as accessing secure areas of the website. Without these cookies, services like shopping baskets or e-billing cannot be provided. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Authentication Cookie and Anonymous Cookie
    These cookies remember that you are logged in to your account – without them, the website would repeatedly request your login details with each new page you visit during your time on our website. They are removed once your session has ended.
  • Session Cookie
    These cookies are used to remember who you are as you use our site: without them, the website would be unable to tell the difference between you and another Wine Society member and facilities such as your basket and the checkout process would therefore not be able to function. They too are removed once your session has ended.

4.4.4.2. Functionality & Targeting/Tracking Cookies
These cookies are used to recognise you when you return to our website and to provide enhanced features. This allows us to personalise our content for you. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Unique User Cookie
    This cookie is used to:
    • store your share number in order to identify that you have visited the website before. Without this cookie, we would be unable to tell whether you are a member or not.
    • record your visit to the website, the pages you have visited and the links you have followed. We use this information to make our website, the content displayed on it and direct marketing communications we may send to you or contact you about more relevant to your interests.
    • This cookie expires after 13 months.
  • Peerius Cookies
    These third-party cookies are used to provide you with personalised recommendations based on your purchase and browsing history. They expire within 4 hours of your visit.

4.4.4.3. Performance/analytical cookies
These cookies collect information about how visitors use a website, for instance which pages visitors go to most often, and if they get error messages from web pages. These cookies don't collect information which identifies a visitor. All information these cookies collect is aggregated and therefore anonymous. It is only used to improve how a website works. Under this heading, we currently use the following cookies:

  • Google Analytics Cookies
    These are third-party cookies to enable Google Analytics to monitor website traffic. All information is recorded anonymously. Using Google Analytics allows The Society to better understand how members use our site and monitor website traffic.

4.4.4.4. Authentication Cookie
In order for us to ensure that your data remains secure it is necessary for us to verify that your session is authentic (i.e. it has not been compromised by a malicious user). We do this by storing an otherwise meaningless unique ID in a cookie for the duration of your visit. No personal information can be gained from this cookie.

4.4.5. How do you turn cookies off?

All modern browsers allow you to modify your cookie settings so that all cookies, or those types which are not acceptable to you, are blocked. However, please note that this may affect the successful functioning of the site, particularly if you block all cookies, including essential cookies. For example, In Internet Explorer, go to the Tools Menu, then go to Internet Options, then go to Privacy. Here you can change the rules your browser uses to accept cookies. You can find out more in the public sources mentioned below.

4.4.6. Learn more about cookies

4.4.7. Changes to our cookie policy

Any changes we may make to our cookie policy in the future will be posted on the website and, where appropriate, notified to you by email. Please check back frequently to see any updates and changes to our cookie policy.