"Most food lovers know the flavour of free-range, rare-breed pork is unsurpassed," says chef Sean Moran who runs his own working farm, Bilping Springs, in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales. "Enhance with salty, sweet and sharp tastes and textures, and it will be devoured."
- 1.2 kg piece boneless pork belly, skin scored (see note)
- 150 ml olive oil
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 3 large fennel bulbs, 2 quartered, 1 shaved
- 500 ml apple cider
- 1 tbsp local honey
- 2 heads Treviso radicchio, leaves separated
- 6 ripe figs, torn
- 1Preheat oven to 200°C. Sprinkle pork generously with salt and pepper, and rub in well. Heat oil in a large flameproof roasting pan over medium heat, add pork, skin-side down and cook until skin begins to crackle and is golden (5 minutes). Turn over, sprinkle with fennel seeds then roast, adding the quartered, seasoned fennel bulbs after 25 minutes, or until pork juices run clear and fennel is tender (45 minutes). Transfer pork and fennel to a tray, cover loosely and rest in a warm place (20-30 minutes ). Drain excess fat from pan and place the pan over medium-high heat, then deglaze with cider and honey, stirring with a wooden spoon to release any stuck on bits, until reduced to a sauce consistency (15 minutes).
- 2Place radicchio leaves on a large board. Top with slices of pork, roasted fennel, shaved fennel and figs. Drizzle with the sauce to serve.
Moran uses free-range, rare-breed pork, cut from the thick end (last six ribs).If time permits, leave pork belly uncovered in the fridge overnight for the skin to dry out and ensure crisp crackling.