Portuguese marinated pork belly, marinated with orange and spices served with a side of artichokes and greens.
I have not had much time in Portugal, I have only really visited Lisbon. I love walking the streets and stopping to admire the shop windows full of the famous vibrant colorful pottery. I have, however, connected many times with Portuguese culture, through colleagues from Portugal and Madeira also friends from Cape Verde and Brazil. There was a Portuguese restaurant in Puerto Rico that I used to visit frequently with Portuguese friends and experience the food. One food that was always a must-have there and also from Cape Verdean friends was Bacalao. But pork belly is also popular in Portugal, cooked with many flavorings or seasonings. I like this particular pork belly marinade, using orange and a touch of spice. It really is a wonderful winter supper, comfort food that entices you with aromatics while it slow-cooks in the oven. We often have it on a lazy Sunday, marinating it on Saturday and then leaving it to cook in the oven, on Sunday while we watch a movie. The vegetable side is easy and fast to prepare when the pork is finishing it’s last 15 minutes and then resting. This can also be made in the slow cooker, leaving you more freedom to go out for a winters day walk.
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We paired the pork with Amoras de Portugal which we had in the wine rack and was a perfect accompaniment, with it’s citrusy stone fruit character, it’s a refreshing wine that complimented the orange spice in the pork.
Portuguese marinated pork belly
2lbs / 1kg (approximately) Pork belly
2 Fennel bulbs thickly sliced
2 Onions (3 if in UK) thickly sliced
1 cup / 250ml Dry white wine
1/4 cup / 60ml Olive oil
1 Orange -large- zested and juiced
5 Garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 tsp Himalayan or sea salt
1 tsp Ground white pepper
2 tsp Smoked paprika
Handful of Cilantro (fresh coriander) roughly chopped
1 Red chili -large- roughly chopped
Place the marinade ingredients into a small blender and blitz
Score the skin on the pork belly with a sharp knife, then rub with some salt. Then rub the meat side only, with the marinade and place in the refrigerator for 2-24 hours.
Heat the oven to 300F / 150C.
Place the fennel and onions into a roasting dish that the skin of the pork will be above the rim. Place the pork with it’s marinade on the vegetables. Pour in half of the wine.
Cook for 1 hour
Add the rest of the wine
Cook the pork for 1 and 1/2 hours.
Increase the oven temperature to 410F / 210C Place the pork on another baking tray and place back in the oven for 15 minutes until crisped.
Remove from the oven and place on a board to rest for 15-20 minutes. Serve over a bed of the fennel and onions, with the chard & artichokes on the side (scroll for the recipe)
CROCKPOT / SLOWCOOKER VERSION
Marinate as above.
Heat the oven to 410F/ 210C. place the pork on a sheet pan and place in the oven for 20 minutes until the skin is crispy. Alternatively, heat some oil in a skillet and brown the meat ensuring to crisp the skin.
Place the fennel, onions and wine in the slow cooker and place the pork on top. Cook onn low 6 hours. Serve over the fennel with the chard mixture on the side.
Creamy Garlic Chard With Artichokes
Garlic Oil spray or 2 tbsp
3 Garlic cloves finely chopped
1 Red chili finely chopped
7oz / 200g Chard
1 can 400g / 14oz Artichokes thoroughly rinsed and pulled apart
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp Heavy cream (double cream)
Heat a non stick skillet and spray with garlic oil, or swirl in garlic oil.
Gently cook the garlic and chili for 30 seconds.
Place the chard in and begin to wilt for around 30 seconds, then put in the artichokes and sprinkle the lemon juice over and continue to cook until the chard is wilted. Stir through the cream and serve immediately.