If you’re looking for a standout holiday dish or Sunday roast to impress your loved ones, you can’t go wrong with this crispy crackling pork. With next-level crunch and a rice-based, gluten-free stuffing, it’s a total keeper… and as most of the prep is done the day before, it’ll also keep stress levels to a minimum on the big day itself!
2kg (4.4 lb) piece skin-on pork belly
Herb rice stuffing:
½ cup jasmine rice
150ml (5 fl oz) chicken stock
1 star anise
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
½ onion, finely diced
50g (1.7 oz) bacon or pancetta, finely chopped
1 tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup finely chopped coriander (cilantro)
¼ cup finely chopped spring onion (scallions)
zest of 1 lemon
To make the herb rice stuffing, place the rice, stock and star anise in a saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat. Cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes or until stock is absorbed and rice is tender. Discard star anise, then transfer the cooked rice to a large bowl.
Heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion and bacon and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until the onion is soft. Transfer to the bowl with the rice and add the soy sauce. Mix to combine and then place in the freezer for 10-15 minutes or until completely cool. Then mix through the coriander, spring onion, and lemon zest.
Pat the pork belly dry with paper towel. Slice off about a 3cm thick piece of pork belly to use to stuff the larger piece. Remove the skin from the small piece. Then use a ruler and a Stanley knife to score the pork rind at 1cm intervals.
Generously season the pork rind with salt, being sure to rub the salt into the score marks. Flip the large piece of pork over so it is skin side down. Spread with the cooled herb rice stuffing. Place the small skinless piece of pork belly in the centre. Roll the larger piece of pork belly over the filling. Tie with kitchen string at 4cm intervals. Place the pork on a large roasting tray and keep in the fridge, uncovered, overnight to dry out the skin.
Preheat oven to 200°C/390°F.
Use paper towels to pat the pork skin dry. Roast the pork for 20 minutes or until the crackling starts to form (rotate the roasting tray after 10 minutes to help the crackling crisp up evenly). Reduce the heat to 170°C/338°F. Roast for a further 1 ½ hours.
Rest the pork for 10-15 minutes before slicing.