1kg pork belly
60mL red wine vinegar
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 small red onions
250mL aged balsamic vinegar, plus extra to serve
500mL vegetable oil
Extra virgin olive oil, to serve
The night before cooking the pork use a clean utility knife or razor blade to score lines into the pork skin from top to bottom, about 3mm apart. Cut through the skin, but don’t cut into the flesh.
Using your fingers, rub the red wine vinegar into the pork skin. Using a massaging action, rub sea salt into the skin and then put the uncovered pork on a plate in the fridge to dry overnight.
Cut the onions into wedges and sprinkle with sea salt, after two hours wash away the salt, pat the onions dry, place in a bowl and cover with the balsamic vinegar. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the pork from the fridge about three hours before cooking.
Preheat the oven to 180 C and put the pork on a wire rack in a roasting tin, skin side up. Roast undisturbed for 30 minutes, then check the core temperature with a meat thermometer. If it has reached about 71 C, remove the pork from the oven; if not return it to the oven and keep checking the core temperature.
Turn the oven down or leave the door ajar, so the temperature drops to around 60 C. Return the meat to the oven to rest for about 30 minutes. During this time, the meat’s core temperature should rise to around 75 C – be sure to check it.
Just before serving, heat the vegetable oil in a small saucepan until it is just smoking. Remove the roasting tin from the oven and carefully spoon the hot oil over the pork skin to finish the crackling.
Cut the pork into strips (it is often easier to cut the crackling with a bread knife) and divide among four plates. Drain the onions and arrange beside the pork, drizzle a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil over the meat, give a really good grind of black pepper and serve.
Credits: Neil Perry's Good Cooking by Neil Perry (Murdoch Books RRP $49.99
Photo Credits: Neil Perry's Good Cooking by Neil Perry (Murdoch Books RRP $49.99)