Wondering why the term No-Fail is included in my title? Well, it's because... it truly is, a No-Fail recipe! Methodology Methodology Methodology!!! That's the Key. Follow the steps, and you will have on your table.... the most beautiful, most crunchy, most succulent piece of Pork Belly that will have your friends and family oo-ing and ah-ing for a long time to come! Let's begin!
Lean slab of Pork Belly. Anywhere from 1.5kg on. Depending on how many mouths you need to feed. The method of cooking is the same.
5 Spice Powder (optional)
Rice Wine Vinegar
PREPARING THE SKIN
Bring to boil, a shallow amount of water in a large flat based pan. When a rolling boil is achieved, turn the heat down to low.
Slowly lower your Pork Belly slab, SKIN DOWN into the water
Water level should be only a little higher than the skin and fat height.
Boil for 10 minutes.
When done, transfer to a flat plate/tray
Poke holes in the skin. Easiest is to use the device to create puncture holes.
Be sure not to puncture beyond the fat. Poke holes all over the skin. A lot of holes.
When done, add a little Rice Wine Vinegar (about 1 TB or so) and spread all over.
Lightly salt the skin.
PREPARING THE MEAT
Mix Salt and Sugar in a 2:1 ratio. Add in white pepper and a little 5-Spice powder (optional - I don't particularly care for this spice but some in my family love it) The amount depends on how large your slab of pork belly is. You'll need enough just for the meat (not the skin)
Flip slab of meat over to the meat side up
Cut slightly deeper slits into meat
Sprinkle lightly over. Then gently rub into the meat including the sides.
Next, sprinkle into crevices of the cuts that you made.
Then Gently rub into meat. Salt generously.
Pat dry. Place on a metal rack (to get elevation to dry out the meat at the bottom too).
Place in the fridge OPEN. Do not cover.
Leave in fridge to dry out for at least 24 hours.
Bring to room temperature before roasting (about a couple of hours)
Place meat on metal rack in roasting pan. Pat skin dry.
Cover skin with Sea Salt.
Place into oven, UNCOVERED on LOWEST Rack.
Roast for about an hour on temperature 150°Celsius till cooked through. Meat thermometer should read about 55°Celsius because you will continue to leave in the oven for about 1/2 hour (USDA recommends a temperature of 145°F with a rest time of 3 minutes)
The next step is to achieve the crackling which will be the second half of the roasting process :
Turn the oven temperature up to the highest, 220° Celsius and roast for another half and hour or so. Try not to check on the meat too many times as the oven temperature drops every time you open the door. By about 20 minutes you should be well on your way to achieving a beautiful crackling.
When skin is crunchy and fully crackled, remove from oven.
Let meat rest for about 20 minutes before cutting. This is vital. The juices need to distribute itself within the meat, thus rendering juicy morsels later. If you don't, the delicious juices will just run all over you cutting board.
Chop into pieces:
Careful if you are flipping to the meat side up to chop (which is the easiest way to cut through the ultra crunchy skin but sometimes the juices will make your skin soggy in 2 seconds flat.
Always ensure that your cutting board is dry. I usually have tons of paper towels to wipe down the cutting board as I go along.
Sometimes, I make a Salsa of Shallots, Lime Juice, Spring Onions, Chopped Red Chilli to east with it.