Rolled Pork Belly with Cranberry Christmas Stuffing

Cook time 3.5 hours
Servings 10-12

Start this recipe 1-2 days early to allow the skin to dry out.

Ingredients

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

3.5 - 4kg piece of pork belly, loin attached, deboned and skin scored 
1 cup chicken stock
½ cup dried cranberries
50g butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 onions, chopped
1.5 tbsp fennel seeds, toasted
1 bunch of sage, finely chopped
1 bunch of thyme, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 3cm rounds
Salt and pepper

Rolled Pork Belly with Cranberry Christmas Stuffing

Start this recipe 1-2 days early to allow the skin to dry out.

Method

Start 1-2 days before. Place the pork on a tray, skin side up and then into the fridge, uncovered, to allow the skin to dry. 

Remove the pork from the fridge 1-2 hours before cooking. Preheat the oven to 220°C.
Bring the stock to the boil then reduce to a simmer and add the cranberries. Steep for 20 minutes to soften. Strain and reserve the cranberries for the stuffing and the stock for the sauce. 

To make the stuffing, heat a large saucepan over a medium-high heat and add the butter, garlic, half the chopped onions and a good pinch of salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes to soften then add the fennel seeds and most of the chopped sage and thyme. Add the reserved cranberries, toss then remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature.

Place the remaining sage and thyme, onion and carrot onto the baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of oil, and then bunch up in the centre of the tray for the pork to sit on. 

Place the pork skin side up onto a flat surface and rub the remaining olive oil all over the skin and season generously with salt. Flip the pork over and butterfly the loin by slicing it lengthwise with sharp knife (but not all the way through), then opening it up like a book. Season the meat with salt and pepper and then evenly spread over the cranberry stuffing. Starting at the loin end, tightly roll up the pork, and using butcher’s twine, tie firmly at 2cm intervals. Place the pork on the bed of herbs and roast in the oven at 220°C for 20-30 minutes or until the skin is blistered and crisp. 

Lower heat to 160°C and continue to cook for 2-2½ hours or until cooked through. If you have a meat thermometer, the internal temperature should be 65°C. Once cooked, allow the pork to rest for 20-30 minutes.

To make a quick sauce, place the roasting tin (if possible) on to the stovetop over a medium heat and add reserved stock. Using a wooden spoon scrape the bottom of the pan to release the caramelised bits. Bring to the boil and reduce by ⅓. If you’d like thick gravy, add a tablespoon of cornflour mixed with a tablespoon of water as it boils.

Remove string from pork and carve with a serrated knife. Serve with your favourite Christmas sides and the sauce.