Crispy Chinese Five-Spice Belly of Pork with Bitter Chocolate Gravy
Prep Time: 30 mins Cooking Time: 1 hr 50 mins Serves: 4-6
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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- 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.