Herb roasted pork belly with caponata and grilled sourdough toasts

This rich, succulent pork belly is perfect for winter nights, or cosy Sunday lunches beside the fire.

Serves: 6

Preparation time: 45 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours 30 minutes


800g pork belly roast
2 crushed cloves garlic
2T fresh thyme
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
4 sage leaves
1T fennel seeds
1/2 cup olive oil
4 bay leaves
2T olive oil
zest of 3 lemons
2 cups (500ml) organic chicken stock
1 sliced red onion
a splash of olive oil
2T sugar
1 cup red wine vinegar
2 medium brinjals
salt and pepper
2 diced ripe tomatoes
1/2 cup halved caperberries
1/2 cup torn basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup stoned and roughly chopped olives
1 loaf crusty sourdough
1 cup (250ml) garlic aioli


Preheat the oven to 160° C. Add all of the ingredients for the rub to a big mortar and pestle, and grind until incorporated and fine. Rub the pork belly roast in 2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with the lemon and herb rub. Place in a large baking tray with the organic chicken stock. Roast in the oven for 2 hours 30 minutes, until crisp and golden but still succulent. Put the grill on high if the fat is not crisping as desired.

To make the caponata: Sauté the onion in a frying pan over low heat with a splash of olive oil until translucent. Add the sugar and mix well to combine. Add the vinegar and continue to cook until a little syrupy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Add a good splash of extra virgin olive oil to the pan and fry the chopped brinjal. (You may need to do this in batches if your pan isn’t big enough.) Add a little more oil if necessary and salt lightly. When the eggplant is almost cooked through and has a rich golden colour, add the tomato. Reduce the heat and continue to cook until the tomato has softened a little. Add the cooked onion mixture along with all the liquid back into the pan with the brinjal. Mix well, then add pitted olives, capers, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Then add some basil and toasted pine nuts and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve as a side to the pork with garlic aioli and slices of grilled sourdough.

Serve with chilled bottles of Grolsch

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