Gingergirl: ‘Reinvigorate your Sunday roast’

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Hello and welcome to all about food. Time for one of my favourites…

Hello and welcome to all about food. Time for one of my favourites…

Ask Gingergirl

Hello Gingergirl,

Can you recommend an alternative cut of meat for Sunday lunch? I always seem to cook a leg of lamb or roast a chicken but I feel like a change!

Many thanks,

Amanda, Shannon

Hello Amanda,

Sunday lunch is something I cherish and it’s great to see that it is a tradition that seems to be holding its own, according to the butcher’s I have talked to. When you mentioned looking for an alternative to the usual Sunday roasts, pork belly cut immediately came to mind. As the name suggests (the relatively inexpensive) pork belly is a boneless cut of meat from the belly of a pig. Unlike other pork cuts, pork belly needs to be cooked slowly to ensure a succulent, great tasting roast that will have the whole family coming back for seconds…and thirds.

Slow Roast Pork Belly

Serves 6+

2½ kg of pork belly, skin scored – get your butcher to do this.

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 tablespoon of rosemary

1 tablespoon of fennel seeds

Vegetable oil

2 onions, thickly sliced

500ml of white wine

2 tablespoons of flour

500ml of good quality vegetable stock

Heat the oven to 220ºc (200ºc fan oven). Place the scored pork in the sink skin-side up and pour over a kettleful of boiling water - this will make the skin contract and pull the cuts apart so you can get more flavour into the meat.

Dap the skin dry with some kitchen paper.

Mix the garlic, rosemary and fennel seeds with a little oil and salt and rub this all over the pork skin.

Lay the onion slices in a roasting tin and pour over the wine. Place the pork on top and cook for thirty minutes.

Turn down the oven to 160ºc/fan 140ºc and continue cooking for three hours – there is no need to check the meat as it roasts. After three hours, lift the pork off the onions and let the meat rest under foil.

To make the gravy: pour off most of the fat then stir in the flour and cook it for a couple of minutes under a medium heat. Add the stock, bring to the boil then simmer gently.

Just before serving, strain the gravy into a jug. I like to serve the pork belly with mashed potatoes and some greens.

Contact Gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘Gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

You can follow gingergirl’s on Twitter – under gingergirlfood or on Facebook – under ‘gingergirl’.

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