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Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Herb And Quinoa With Roast Pork

For a refreshing twist on the Sunday roast, stuff with flavour-infused quinoa and add some bite to your crackling with fennel seasoning. Mouthwateringly good.

  • 3kg whole piece of pork belly, with ribs, from the butcher (choose the widest piece possible, which will be easier to roll)
  • 2 tbsp flaky sea salt
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
For the stuffing:
  • 100g quinoa
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1-2 red chillies, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 150g baby spinach (wilted by pouring boiling water from a kettle over it in a colander, then refreshing in cold water and squeezing dry), chopped
  • 8 sun-blush tomatoes, finely chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and squeeze of juice
  • Large handful of fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  1. For the stuffing, put the quinoa in a pan with 340ml cold water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 20 minutes until all the water is absorbed. Drain, refresh under cold running water, then set aside in a bowl.
  2. Heat the oil and butter in a pan and gently fry the leek for 5 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and chilli, then fry for a further minute. Add to the bowl with the cooled quinoa and mix. Add the spinach, sun-blush tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, and parsley, then season well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 240°C/fan 220°C/gas 9 or as high as it will go. Put the pork belly skin-side down on a work surface. Using a Stanley knife or very sharp knife, remove the ribs and set aside (see tip) or you can ask your butcher to do this for you. Turn the belly over and make a series of scores across the skin, widthways.
  4. Place 8 x 30cm pieces of string along a work surface and put the pork belly on top, skin-side down (make sure the string is lying the same way as the scored lines).
  5. Spoon the stuffing down the middle of the belly, then bring up the sides around the stuffing until they meet. Tie tightly with the string and weigh to calculate the cooking time (25 minutes per 450g, plus 20 minutes). Turn the belly over and rub all over with sea salt and fennel seeds.
  6. Put the reserved ribs in a roasting tin and put the pork on top with the join underneath. Roast for 20 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4 and roast for the remainder of the cooking time.
  7. When cooked, transfer to a warmed platter and rest uncovered for 20 minutes before serving.

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