Smoky Six Hour Pork Belly
I served this to a couple of friends last night and one asked if she had died and gone to heaven, I told her I’d gone with her writes Sandra Tate…This is a simple low and slow method that produces a meltingly tender result. Firstly the the Kamado Joe needs to be made ready by establishing a constant temperature of 120°C-130°C and to do this the bottom vent will be open by a mere 1-2cm and the daisy wheel barely half open. This will produce the desired smoking temperature – I did not add shavings, I’m more than happy with the charcoal smoke. Place the heat deflector at low level (with a drip tray on it) with grill rack at high level.
A 1.6kg piece of pork belly, on the bone and complete with rind, fed 4 of us – which sounds rather greedy but to be fair we would willingly have eaten more. Rub the meat side with a mix of 20g unrefined sugar and 20g sea salt and place rib side down. Cook for initial 3 hours without disturbing. Now place the pork belly in a roasting tray and cover with foil to avoid further smoking and cook for another 2½ – 3 hours by which time it is already going to be very tender.
Remove from the grill and open the top and bottom vents to bring the temperature up to 200°C. Whilst the temperature is being achieved, place the pork joint on a board and lift the rind from the pork belly by sliding a knife under it as close to the skin as you can manage (this makes for a more successful crackling). Lay the rind on foil and salt its surface. To the upper side of the pork belly meat, apply a glaze made by mixing 4 cloves garlic, crushed to pulp with 1tsp salt, black pepper, 2tsp tamarind paste, ½tsp chilli powder, 1tsp smoked paprika, and 3tbsp runny honey. Return the meat back to the roasting tray and place both the joint and the rind back on the grill for a further 10-15 minutes or until the rind is blistering and crisp and the glazed meat golden.
Using a kitchen knife divide the pork into ribs and serve immediately with salads, new potatoes and lashings of cold cider. Sublime!