Lauraine Jacobs

Food & Wine Writer

Recipes

26 August 2021

KUMARA GRATIN AND PORK BELLY

*2 tbsp butter *100ml milk *300ml cream *1 bay leaf *salt & black pepper *1.5kg red-skinned kumara *2 pinches horopito pepper (or thyme leaves) *50g parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Butter a deep ovenproof dish, around 25 cm x 20cm. Bring the milk, cream and bay leaf to the boil in a saucepan. Leave on a very gentle simmer for 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.

Finely slice the kumara and layer this in the gratin dish in neat layers. Cover with the hot cream and horopito and shake gently to distribute the liquid. Sprinkle the top with parmesan, cover with tinfoil and bake for 50 minutes or until the kumara are tender when a skewer is pushed into them.

(Tip. It is a good idea to put a tray under the dish as it cooks as the cream can bubble up and spill over.) For the crisp roasted pork belly

*800g piece of pork belly with skin attached and scored *2 tbsp fennel seeds *1 tsp salt *Freshly ground black pepper *2 lemons * 2 cloves garlic * 1/2 tsp salt * 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper * 8 sage leaves * ½ cup white wine

Score the surface of the pork belly skin with a very sharp knife or a clean Stanley knife.

Pound the fennel seeds, salt, and pepper together with a mortar and pestle or in a spice processor until finely ground. Rub this mixture well over the pork surface and the skin. Crush the garlic and sprinkle this over the pork with the grated zest of the lemons and the sage leaves. Leave, covered so the flavours to permeate the meat for at least two hours or overnight in the refrigerator.

Heat the oven to 220˚C and place the pork in a roasting pan with the scored fat sitting upwards. Cook for 15 minutes then reduce the oven temperature to 160˚C and continue cooking for another 60 minutes.

Take the pork from the oven, place on a carving dish and cover with foil. To make a sauce, deglaze the pan with the wine and the juice of one of the lemons and bring to a simmer. Continue to simmer, reducing by half. Strain this sauce, season to taste.