Roast pork with herbs, broad bean tops & new potatoes

Roast pork with herbs, broad bean tops & new potatoes

By
From
Gather
Serves
4
Photographer
Andrew Montgomery

Roast pork belly with crackling would be on the table of my last supper – I love it. It’s to do with the balance of textures: the salted crunch of the brittle, puffed rind, the meltingly tender open grain of the meat, and the creamy, almost buttery nature of the soft white fat. It’s so deeply savoury and so sedately satisfying to me, I can imagine falling quite happily into a big sleep. This recipe is a little different from a typical roast. Simple boiled new potatoes and fresh broad-bean tops, with lots of herbs and lemon, perfectly balance the rich meat. Buy the best pork you can: free-range or organic pork, particularly from rare or traditional breeds of pig, will be much more delicious and characterful.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
3-4 teaspoons fennel seeds
1.5kg thick end of pork belly, bone in, skin completely dry
300g new potatoes
3-4 mint sprigs, leaves, picked and finely chopped, stalks reserved
1 knob butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small bunch parsley, leaves picked and finely chopped
1 small bunch chives, finely chopped
2 handfuls broad bean or pea tops, plus any flowers if available
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt
freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220°C. Toast the fennel seeds in a small pan over a medium heat until fragrant. Remove from the heat, then use a pestle to grind them coarsely in the pan. Use a sharp knife to score the skin and fat of the pork (don’t cut into the meat). Place the pork in a roasting tray and rub all over with salt and the crushed fennel. Place in the oven for 25–30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 160°C, add half a glass of water to the tray, and roast for 2 hours, until golden, tender and giving. (Add a splash more water if at any time the pan looks dry.)
  2. While the pork is roasting, halve the new potatoes if they’re large and place them in a pan along with the reserved mint stalks. Cover with well-salted water and simmer for 8–15 minutes (cooking time will vary according to how fresh your potatoes are and the variety), or until just tender, then drain and return to the pan, discarding the mint stalks. Add the butter and 1 tablespoon of olive oil, season well with salt and pepper, stir together, then set aside.
  3. Once cooked, remove the pork from the oven and rest it for 15–20 minutes. Add the fresh herbs to the potatoes, stir through, then spoon the potatoes onto a warm platter. Place the pork on the platter, then skim off the fat from the juices in the roasting tray and spoon the juices over the pork and potatoes. Place the broad bean or pea tops in a bowl, dress with the remaining olive oil and the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper. Stir, then scatter over the pork and take to the table straight away.
Tags:
River Cottage
seasonal
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