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#1 Wed 13 Feb 13 11:43pm

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

So I'm cooking Valentine's day dinner tomorrow, and I have a rolled stuffed pork belly. It's nice free-range pork - came with a box of mixed cuts from a local farm, great meat. It's rolled round a stuffing I know nothing about - probably sausagemeat, I'm guessing, but I can't see it. The catch is, the crackling isn't scored.

So I have three options:

- Try and score it without unrolling it
- Unroll it, score it, and roll it back up
- Unroll it, score it and roast it flat with the stuffing alongside.

Place your bets now. And if you have any advice on cooking times and temps for your preferred option, I'd love that, as I've never cooked a pork belly before and I've had mixed experiences eating it. I know that when it's good, it's really really good, but when it's bad it's... kind of chewy.

I'll be at home all day tomorrow so any cooking time is doable, and I can give it all the time and attention it needs.

eta it's not an enormous joint - these are dinky little pigs. It's just less than 2 1/2 lb with the stuffing.

Last edited by hippytea (Wed 13 Feb 13 11:45pm)

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#2 Thu 14 Feb 13 9:39am

Thistledo

Member
Occupation Retired something or other
From English immigrant in S. Wales
Member since Fri 07 Dec 12

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

Hippy, is any part of the skin hidden in the roll?  If not, I would try and score it in between the string.  Would be a shame to have to unroll it.  The scoring doesn't have to be continuous;  short sharp scores should be fine.  Belly pork is the worst to crackle, being the softest part of the animal.  Pour boiling water slowly over the whole skin and pat it dry.  That will make the skin tighten up, then score, then oil and salt, if you wish.  Perhaps a quick phone call to the farm would reveal what the stuffing is made up of?  I would want to know, although it most likely is sausage meat mixed with herbs, ie sage.
I would heat the oven to very high, then turn it down to fairly low about 10 minutes after the pork goes in, say about 170C/Gas 3.  Long and slow is what you want for that cut.  Knife test to discover if it's cooked sufficiently. Sounds delicious.  Good luck.

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#3 Thu 14 Feb 13 12:41pm

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

Good point about the skin, I will check to see if it has been rolled in (although hopefully not, if it is then no gold star for the butcher!)

Ta for the advice. I have found lots of recipes that advise 25min a pound and 20 over, but that seems awfully quick for a tough cut like this. I have a Jamie recipe which advises putting it in hot, then turning the heat down to 170C and cooking for 3-4 hours - that sounds more like the ticket, but the recipe is for a flat bone-in belly, not boned and rolled, so I don't know if the times and temps are applicable or not.

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#4 Thu 14 Feb 13 8:05pm

cannyfradock

Member
Occupation Builder (bricklayer/ stonemason)
From S.Wales.
Member since Sat 10 Oct 09

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

Hippytea

I would agree with Jamies and Thisledo's method of cooking. Flash firing in a hot oven, then turn down the heat for a slow cook. Open the oven when you do this as this will release a lot of steam .....belly pork likes a dry oven medium. When the skin of the belly pork is hard (ish) then there's no need for boiling water. If the skin is soft, then the boiling water method will help you get a good crackling. A lot of butchers use a "stanley knife" to score the skin of a pork joint. I have a cheap retractable stanley type knife in my knife draw purely for scoring pork skin.

It will always be a difficult job to score a rolled piece of meat......It's not so difficult to re-tie a piece of meat. It's a lot easier to score a piece of meat which lays flat in front of you. If you do this you can season and perhaps brush some mustard or honey.....or both on the inside piece of the meat. Don't forget that when forming the meat into a "roll" you are purely forming a shape.....don't try to pull the meat when tying the knots, as the meat will only try to want to "spring back" when the tying is cut.

Best of luck with your roast...it sounds really nice.

Terry

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#5 Thu 14 Feb 13 8:44pm

ACDC

Forum champ
Occupation Bewitched, bothered and bewildered Mother
From Ireland
Member since Tue 19 Aug 08

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

How did it go or is it going Hippytea????   I've never tried this and would love to give it a go.  crossed

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#6 Fri 15 Feb 13 6:01pm

wine~o

Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

Please do update Hippytea.....we would all like to know how well it went....






even if it went 'orribly wrong..... help

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#7 Fri 15 Feb 13 6:56pm

nolan.glue

Member
Member since Fri 15 Feb 13

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

here is how i do it:

un roll the pork (yes its a pain) , put stuffing to one side

dry the rind

use a clean razor blade and score the pork well , salt it and leave it for 20 mins at room temp.

put stuffing back and re tie pork into roll.

put oven on at full temp.

once preheated cookc pork for 30 mins at high heat then turn heat down to 170 and cook for further 1.5 - 2 hours until cooked through.

take out and cover with foil and rest

crackling should be perfect and meat not over cooked

results have been good although on good food there was a quicker recipe but im still not a big fan of slightly pink pork.

hope that helps

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#8 Fri 15 Feb 13 9:19pm

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

Thanks all! It turned out great.

The stuffing was sausagemeat - no herbs that I could detect. Butcher is a purist, seemingly.

The "crackling" turned out to be missing the rind! Just a thick layer of fat. Being slightly dopey yesterday, I didn't realise this until I had scored it, thinking to myself the whole time, "hey, what's all the fuss about? This is much easier than people say it is." Well, yes, it's very easy to score crackling when there's no crackling there!

I can't explain the strange omission, but the scored and salted fat actually crisped up beautifully, like perfect bacon fat.

I started with the oven set to Max (on our oven that is somewhere up above 250C, I've never actually measured it) and turned it down to 170C as soon as I had the roast in. I used a meat thermometer, and it's just as well I did, as if I had kept it at that temp it would have been up to temperature in just over an hour, though still extremely bouncy. As it was, I dialled back the temp, and had to keep dialling it back to stop the meat overheating, as I had allowed three and a half hours to cook it. Despite my best efforts, it still hit the target temp way too early, and I ended up freehweeling at under 100C for over an hour, just to give it time to tenderise!

And I have to say, three and a half hours was in no way too long. It was mostly gorgeous, soft and melting, but at the thick end there was still a trace of bounce to it. Next time I would do 4 hours or a little more, and set the temp lower after the initial frazzling. Thankfully no sign of overheating, I think there's just so much fat there that it's hard for it to dry out.

And what a flavour! The butcher may have stolen my crackling, but it was still **** good pork.

So again, thanks to all for your advice!

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#9 Fri 15 Feb 13 9:22pm

hippytea

Member
Occupation Chief cook and bottle-washer
From Scotland
Member since Mon 12 Sep 11

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

Oh, and I accompanied it with roast veg, for the first time using Golden Wonder potatoes, and let me tell you, they are the best roasting potatoes I ever had. When it came to putting the veg in I had a major attack of the can't-be-bothereds and couldn't face peeling or par-boiling the tatties, so I just scrubbed, chopped and threw them in beside the pork (which had already had the fat poured off a few times, or they would have been deep-fried!).

They turned out as good as the best roasties I have ever made using Maris Piper or Roosters by the usual laborious method. Of course, the pork fat must have helped, but still. Wonders indeed.

eta in case anyone wants to copy me, I had the pork up on a rack over a grill pan until the last half hour, poured the fat off maybe twice during the cooking time, then for the last half hour took the rack away and sat the pork on the pan in among the veg, with just enough fat to coat them. Then I took the pork out and rested for half an hour while the veg finished off. I didn't cover it while resting, as I value crispiness over hotness.

Last edited by hippytea (Fri 15 Feb 13 9:30pm)

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#10 Sat 16 Feb 13 6:05am

Thistledo

Member
Occupation Retired something or other
From English immigrant in S. Wales
Member since Fri 07 Dec 12

Re: Rolled stuffed pork belly - advice?

Hippy, so pleased it was such a success.  You've done it once now so you'll do it even better next time.  Sounds delicious.  Next time, you could buy an unrolled piece of belly pork and make your own stuffing - so many ingredients you could use in that.  Can well imagine the fat becoming crispy;  rather like gammon steaks.  Yummy.

Nolan, not a good idea to advise someone to use a razor blade for scoring.  Highly dangerous.  There are other safer tools you can use, scalpels, Stanley knives, etc, kept for the purpose.

Well done Hippy.

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