I baked this pork neck beautifully, the meat was soft and delicious and the crackling super crisp. I roasted potatoes, onions and pumpkin with it, served it with a green salad, and this easy dinner was delicious.
You can add fresh sage or thyme to the roasting dish around the potatoes, for added flavour.
If by chance your crackling didn't crisp up perfectly, you can turn your oven off, and put it on the grill setting now. This step needs to be watched carefully as if you don't watch it carefully it can go from crispy skin to burnt skin in no time. Grill for about 5-10 minutes or until the skin is blistering and perfectly cooked.
Here is a simple recipe that tastes great, something I will make again and again.
2.4kg pork neck, skin on
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 onions, peeled, sliced into 2-3 discs
4 cloves garlic, unpeeled, leave the skins on
4 large potatoes, peeled, cut into wedges
1 1/2 teaspoons vegeta
1/2 butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into large wedges
Get your butcher to score the skin of the pork belly if it isn't already as they have far sharper knives than we do and do it with ease.
Take the pork out of the refrigerator at least 1 hour before baking, leave it uncovered on the kitchen bench so the skin dries out a bit, pat dry with a paper towel if there is any moisture on the skin.
Preheat your oven to 180C/160C fan forced.
Season the whole pork neck with salt and white pepper. Now you need to season it well as the salt and pepper is only on the surface.
Drizzle olive oil in the base of your baking dish.
The onions and garlic are used to provide a base for your pork to sit on. So arrange the onion discs and garlic in the centre of your baking dish, so it is the size of your pork neck.
Place the pork neck skin side up on top of the onion and garlic. Drizzle 1 tablespoons of oil on top of the pork skin, rub it in all over the skin.
In a bowl add your potatoes, 1 teaspoon vegeta and drizzle with some olive oil. Scatter around your pork.
Cut 4 thin strips of aluminium foil about 5-10cm wide, you need to cover the sides of the baking dish (around the pork) with aluminium foil, leaving only the pork skin exposed. So all you should see is the pork skin.
In the meantime, add the pumpkin to a bowl, season with 1/2 teaspoon vegeta, season with salt and pepper, drizzle with a little olive oil.
After 1 hour remove the aluminium foil, add in the pumpkin, bake for a further 1 hour.
Take the meat out of the oven, allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
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