Crispy Chinese Five-Spice Belly of Pork with Bitter Chocolate Gravy


Prep Time: 30 mins Cooking Time: 1 hr 50 mins Serves: 4-6
This is a great recipe, especially when it is made with meat from pigs fattened on potatoes and chocolate waste from my factory! As well as salting, the other key factor in achieving a crispy skin is for it to be slightly dried out and almost leathery before cooking. To help achieve this, place the pork in a dish, skin side up and uncovered, and leave in the fridge for 24 hours.
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Ingredients

1kg piece belly pork

1 tbsp. oil

1 tbsp. fine sea salt

1 tbsp. Chinese five-spice powder

1 large onion, thickly sliced

400ml chicken stock

7g 100% cacao. Suggestion, Venezuelan Rio Caribe 100% cacao

1 tbsp. soy sauce

4 spring onions, shredded lengthways

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Method

  • Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  • Score the skin of the belly pork with a sharp knife, then lightly oil on all sides. Rub the sea salt well into the skin and rub the five-spice powder all over the underside.
  • Arrange the onion slices in the base of a roasting tin and lay the pork on top, skin side up. Roast in the hot oven for about 30 minutes.
  •  Lower the oven to 170°C and continue cooking for another hour. Check if the skin is really crispy and, if not, turn the oven up to 200°C and cook for a further 15-20 minutes. Don’t worry about overcooking belly pork, as its high fat content will keep it from drying out.
  • When the pork is ready, remove from the oven, transfer to heatproof dish, cover loosely with foil and set aside to rest in a warm place.
  • While the meat is resting, make the gravy. Tip out and discard any liquid fat still in the roasting tin. Heat the stock in a saucepan over a medium heat, then pour into the roasting tin and stir, scraping up any caramelized bits in the tin. Pour this mixture back into the saucepan and bring to the boil.
  • Lower the heat and cook gently for 5 minutes, then strain into a fresh saucepan. Add the cacao and soy sauce and return to a gentle boil, stirring all the time until the cacao melts. Reduce to thicken slightly (although the gravy shouldn’t be too thick). Taste and adjust the seasoning, if needed.
  • Remove the crackling from the pork, then slice the meat by dividing it between the ribs.
  •  Pour a little hot gravy onto each serving plate and top with slices of meat, placing a helping of crackling alongside. Scatter over the shredded spring onions and serve with steamed rice and spinach.

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Crispy Chinese Five-Spice Belly of Pork with Bitter Chocolate Gravy