If you hate soggy crackling and dry meat, this recipe is for you.
Time: 4.5 hours (but so worth it)
1.5kg piece of pork belly
3 brown onions
1 bunch garlic, separated into cloves and peeled
¼ cup orange juice
Freshly ground salt
Heavy aluminum foil
A large camp oven and large trivet
½ cup brown sugar
½ teaspoon Chinese Five Spice powder
½ cup red wine vinegar
¼ cup orange juice
1 cup chicken stock
2 rounded tablespoons of gravy powder
Score the skin of the pork with a sharp knife, to the full depth of the fat. Do this in a diagonal pattern, with the diamonds no larger than an inch each. Pat the pork skin VERY well to ensure it is completely dry, and set aside.
Sprinkle plenty of salt and olive oil over the entire piece of pork, rubbing well into all crevices, especially between the skin cuts. Set aside.
Peel the onions and apples, and then cut them into thick slices of about an inch.
Lay a piece of foil twice the length of the piece of pork on a large trivet on your bench, then lay a slightly shorter piece over it in the other direction to form a cross. Fold up the edges slightly to form a lip.
Cover the foil, to the edges of the trivet, put in the apple and onion; and then fill any gaps with garlic cloves. Sprinkle with some of the orange juice.
Lay the pork on top of the onion and apple base, and then carefully pull the foil up around the edges of it. The aim is to NOT cover the skin at all, but bring up the foil to seal in the meat. Roll and tuck the foil to form a decent seal, bending and folding as needed. Again, do not cover the rind – it needs to be peeking uncovered at the top.
Carefully place the pork on the trivet into the camp oven on low heat – you are looking to get it to around only 150ºC (see camp oven temperatures in ‘Getting Started’ section).
Cook the pork for three hours, maintaining a low temperature; and DO NOT baste at any point. Check regularly and let out any steam.
After three hours, lower the heat slightly again and cook for another hour.
Once you have allowed the meat to cook slowly over the four hours, move the camp oven up to high temperature (approximately 220ºC) and cook for another 20 minutes to finish off the crackling, while monitoring closely
Place all ingredients except the gravy powder in a pot and bring to the boil. Boil for five to ten minutes until the liquid is reduced by half, and then stir in the gravy powder (enough to thicken it).
Serve with the sauce on the side, on a bed of mash with honey and Macadamia nuts.