• TO DRINK: Luddite Shiraz 2005, with savoury liquorice tones and dark fruits.

    Roasted pork belly with braised beans and curried pears

    Serves: 8
    Cooking Time: 3 hours plus overnight for marinating and soaking


    • 1 pork belly joint, about 1,5kg, bone in
    • 500g coarse salt
    • zest of 2 lemons
    • zest of 1 orange
    • 4 sprigs thyme, finely chopped
    • 2 garlic cloves
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) honey
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) pickling spice
    • 100g dried sugar beans
    • 100g dried lima beans or white soy beans
    • 100g dried black kidney beans
    • 300ml chicken stock
    • 500ml (2 cups) water
    • 5ml (1 tsp) salt
    • ½ a lemon
    • 45ml (3 tbsp) Punjabi spice mix
    • 400ml coconut milk
    • 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and cut into wedges
    • 15ml (1 tbsp) medium curry powder
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
    • 50ml butter, clarified
    • 200g fresh fine beans, blanched and refreshed, to serve



    Trim the pork, reducing the thicker areas to even out the thickness. With a very sharp knife, score the skin at 0,5cm intervals (cut through the skin only and not into the flesh).


    In a bowl mix together the marinade ingredients. Put the pork belly on a tray, skin-side up, and rub the salt mixture well into the skin. Cover and refrigerate overnight.


    Soak the dried beans in separate bowls in water overnight.


    Preheat the oven to 130ºC.


    Rinse the pork belly to wash off the salt and pat dry with paper towel. Brush a baking tray with the oil, place the pork skin-side up on the tray and roast, basting regularly with own juices, until cooked and crispy, about 2 hours.


    While the pork is roasting, rinse the soaked beans and place them in a large, heavy-based pot. Add the stock, water, salt, lemon and Punjabi spice. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for about 1 hour.


    Heat the coconut milk in a small saucepan until reduced to 250ml (1 cup). Add this to the braised beans.


    Dust the pears with the curry powder and season. Heat 30ml (2 tbsp) of the butter in a heavy-based pan and sauté the pear wedges until light brown.


    Heat the remaining clarified butter in another pan and sauté the fine beans.


    Slice the pork and serve with the braised beans, pears and fine beans.


    For pickling spice, toast mustard seeds, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, bay leaves and ground cinnamon in the oven, crush and mix with coarse salt. Buy Punjabi spice at Indian delis.