A happy pig sunday roast from Gogo’s.
Pork belly is a wonder. A cheap cut of meat that’s enjoyed a well deserved surge in popularity in recent years, its crispy, rich, fattiness has made it a feature on the menus of many restaurants. I had the best pork belly ever at Taste of Cape Town this year – roasted with five spice – from Bistro Sixteen82. Inspired by this I trotted off to our local free range meat supplier to buy some pork belly for my turn at sunday roast with some friends this past week.
Gogo’s deli, in our local Kildare shopping centre, is really good. Run by the ever helpful Sam and Deirdre Elliott, it provides lots of unusual and, most importantly, ethically produced meat. Deliveries of different produce are made several times during the week, so it’s always worth popping in/calling plenty of time in advance if you are after something specific. Saying this, I was disorganised and only went in to the shop on saturday morning to get my pork for sunday, luckily early, as they only had one piece left of the 10 they’d had delivered this week! My piece cost me just under R60 and fed 5 of us to the point of over indulgence in piggy goodness.
The pork products at Gogo’s come primarily from Happy Hogs in Ashton, but they also stock charcuterie from Black Pig – which is made using pigs from Happy Hogs. Details of this free range, antibiotic and hormone free operation can be found here. I hope to make a visit soon.
In addition to the various pork cuts, Gogo’s sell duck, chicken, beef, poussin, warthog, kudu, ostrich, rabbit and goose – giving you a great chance to try lots of inherently more ethical (and tasty) meats. In addition to the selection of meat cuts, there’s also a great range of sausages, charcuterie, biltong, pates, pies, chutneys, sauces, oils, eggs, coffee and rice – a lot for a little shop!
They do also stock some seafood (tuna, marlin, prawns, salmon trout) however were unable to inform me of the sustainability of the sources for these products. Hopefully in the future they will extend their excellent sourcing of ethical meat towards seafood as well.
I heartily recommend Gogo’s for all your free range meat requirements. It really is fantastic to have so much great produce available in one place. Many thanks to Deirdre for sending me the product lists and supplier information. You can pop in and visit Gogo’s Deli, 6 Cardiff Castle, Cnr Main Street and Kildare Road or contact Deirdre and Sam on 0216710573 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Anyway, back to what I did when I got my pork belly home. To accompany my roast, I made roast potatoes (mums technique – :) ) and an Asian slaw. The idea of the slaw was to soften the five spice with a little creamy sweetness, provide some moisture in the absence of gravy and also tie the Asian spices with the typical British roast pork accompaniments of apple sauce and cabbage.
Roast pork belly with five spice with roast potatoes and asian slaw.
1 piece of pork belly (820g was more than enough for 5 of us)
4 cloves of garlic
1 tbsp of black peppercorns
7 star anise
1/2 tsp of ground cloves
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp fennel seeds
10 large potatoes
5 large sweet potatoes
1 small red cabbage
1 large white onion
1 large red onion
4 granny smith apples, remove core.
Juice of half a lemon
4 tbsp soy sauce
5 cm of ginger root, finely grated
5 tbsp mayonnaise
Make the five spice mix by toasting the peppercorns for a few minutes and grinding these with the star anise, cloves, cinnamon and fennel seeds. Bash the garlic cloves thoroughly in to this mixture.
Score the skin of the pork belly (through the skin and just into the lower fat layers). Lay the pork belly skin down and rub the spice mix into the skin. Leave for 2-3 hours to absorb the flavour.
Pre heat the oven to 200 degrees. Set an oven shelf near the top of the oven and leave space below this for a roasting tin for the potatoes. Peel the potatoes and boil until just they are just soft enough that you can scrape the surface. Drain them and give the pan a good shake the fluff up the potatoes surfaces, scratching with a fork will also help this. Place the pork belly skin side down on the top oven shelf and then put the potatoes in to the roasting tray with a generous covering of olive oil (about 1/3 a cm in the bottom). Peal the sweet potatoes and put in with the normal potatoes, raw, about half way through the cooking time.
Cook until the pork is cooked through and its juices are clear – about 1hr – 1hr 30 depending on the size of your piece. The potatoes will need to go in slightly later if its a large piece.
While the pork is cooking, make your Asian slaw. This is most easily done in a food processor with a grating tool. Grate the cabbage and onions and place together in a large bowl. Mix together the soy, finely grated ginger and mayonnaise and season with plenty of pepper. Combine the mayonnaise dressing and cabbage and onion mix. Grate the apple (including skin) just before serving, mix with the lemon juice and then add to the rest of the slaw.
Serve a thick slice of pork belly with a generous serving of roast potatoes and slaw. We had ours with a delicious shiraz but any spicy/sweet wine would probably work.
Post pork we decided to put my new Le Creuset cassis stoneware baking dish to good use. Using phyllo pastry we made a really nice apple, pear and fig tart.
6 sheets of phyllo pastry
2 tbsp melted butter
4 fresh figs
2 tbsp of honey (I use raw honey with ginger – available at the neighbourgoods market at the Old Biscuit Mill)
Thoroughly butter a large baking dish. Layer 3 sheets of phyllo pastry on to the bottom of dish, brushing each layer with a little melted butter. Do not trim to size, allow the edges to overlap the dish. Chop the pears, apples and figs into fairly thin slices and arrange over the phyllo. Drizzle the honey over the fruit and then add the final 3 layers of phyllo – again brushing each with butter. Fold all the edges of the pastry over the top of the dish and finish with the last of the melted butter. Bake until the pastry is crisp – I usually do this roughly according the the packet guidelines (life is definitely too short and there is definitely too much to eat, to make phyllo from scratch!!)