There are many advantages to this recipe, simplicity being a big one. Score the pork and apply the salt seasoning rub 24 to 48 hours in advance of cooking for extra succulence. This is a one-dish meal that is excellent with a dry hard cider or a crisp white wine, like Riesling.
Use the tip of a very sharp knife to make shallow cuts into the fat side of the pork belly without cutting into the meat. Make the cuts parallel to one another about two inches apart, then crisscross these cuts by slicing in the other direction.
With a mortar and pestle or in a food processor, make the seasoning salt by crushing the garlic, bay leaves and thyme with the fennel, pepper and salt. Rub this all over the pork and into the score marks. Place the pork in a dish and leave it overnight in the refrigerator uncovered, ideally, or for at least 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 300°F. Transfer the pork to a roasting pan with a rack and roast for 3 to 3 1/2 hours or until you can push a skewer in and out of the meat easily.
Raise the heat to 400°F and lift the pork on its rack out of the roasting pan. Toss the onion and squash into the fatty liquid in the bottom of the pan along with the vinegar. Roast for 30 minutes until softened and starting to brown.
Place the pork on its rack on top of the vegetables and continue roasting until the pork is crisp and very browned, 15-20 minutes more.
To serve, slice the pork belly into 1-inch thick slices with a serving of the onions and squash.
If your pork belly comes with the skin, simply score it as directed in the recipe and enjoy some extra crispy deliciousness on your roast. Lucky you! (My butcher removes the skin, so it's never an option for me.)
Copyright 2021 Lynne Curry