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Date stuffed pork belly

This is a bit like teaching my granny to suck eggs, but it is good!

Date Stuffed Pork Belly

Start with some good, outdoor reared, rare breed pork belly, should be easy to source on here.

The night before you are going to cook it, open and unroll the pork belly, pat dry with kitchen paper, rub the meat side with a clove of good garlic, cover and place in fridge.

Take 6 medjool dates, quarter lengthways and remove stones, place in a tumbler and cover with Calvados, place in fridge and leave to soak overnight.

The following morning, remove meat and dates from fridge, lay the meat skin side down, beat lightly to level thickness.

Cover the meat surface with the soaked dates, then roll tightly, tie, rub a little salt into the skin side and leave in fridge for a couple of hours.

Sear the ends and skin of the joint in a hot, heavy, pan then seal in foil.

Place in pre-heated oven on Gas Mark 2, leave it there for about 4 hours.

After about 4 - 5 hours, crank up the oven to No 7, when it reaches temp, open the foil so that the joint is exposed and return to oven for about half an hour, to allow crackling to crisp up.

When the crackling is crisp, remove from oven and allow to rest in a warm place for 30 minutes, before carving.

Serve with veg of choice (though I would recommend roast candy beetroot and leeks in a peppery cheese sauce) and a glass of good cider.

I'm starving, I just had the cider. Going to try this.

Oh I'm so glad I read this after I'd had my lunch and not before!  Might give this a whirl this weekend.  

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