Jack Monroe is back to show us how to wow on a budget, with her affordable and delicious sugar and spice pork belly.
Sugar and spice pork belly with creamy garlic mash
20g black treacle
50ml red wine vinegar
50ml cooking oil
2 tbsp garlic paste
2 tsp mustard
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp szechuan peppercorns (if you can’t get this, then try ⅔ tsp black pepper and ⅓ tsp cayenne as a substitute)
1 tsp cardamom
A few pinches of powdered anise
750g pork belly
For the creamy garlic mash
A few generous pinches of salt
100g unsalted butter
1 tbsp garlic paste
50ml whole milk
Plenty of black pepper
Pinch of nutmeg, optional
Blend together the treacle, vinegar, oil, garlic, mustard, fennel, pepper, cardamom and anise in a small bullet blender to make the marinade
Slice your pork belly strips to the same size as the width of a 1kg loaf tin so hey fit in snuggly in, and pour the marinade on top. Gently rock the tin so the marinade falls to the bottom, saturating the pork belly. Cover and chill for at least 6 hours, but preferably overnight.
Heat your oven to 200C and ensure there is a shelf just below the centre. Remove the pork belly from the fridge and discard the film or foil that you covered it with.
Place your loaf tin on the shelf and cook for 30 minutes to crisp the crackling. Turn the heat down to 140C and cook for 2 hours more.
Carefully pour any leftover marinade and fat into a clean jar - you can use this to add flavour to soups, to cook other meats in, to fry black beans, the possibilities are endless, but it's far too delicious to waste!
Rest the pork belly for 15 minutes, covered in foil to retain the heat
For the creamy garlic mash: Jack's personal preference - I prefer to leave the skin on my potatoes to give the mash some texture but this only really works with the cheap thinner-skinned varieties. Give them a good scrub and dice around 1cm all over for a faster cooking time.
Pop in a large pan, cover with cold water, season generously. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, until the potatoes are super soft.
Drain thoroughly. Add the butter, milk, garlic, and beat well to a smoothish mash. Season with plenty of black pepper, and extra salt if required.