Despite it being the New Year and an annual holiday its been all systems go here as we bought two Pork Bellies yesterday for £35 from our Local Cash and Carry or your butchers which we have turned into six small stuffed pork belly roasting joints and one large joint suitable for a family of four. This is allowing for extra servings of the meat in sandwiches and as cold cuts, with the addition of a pack of stuffing mix and two sticks of sausage meat say another £5 so £40 in all for the meat. Divided by 7 = £5.72 per joint which works out to quite a reasonable price for two of you. If you want to leave the joints larger for a family of 4+ then the price augments accordingly and works out for £10 joint but should give you at least enough for two meals out of this. They are rather on the generous side. I have seven joints in the freezer so that is seven Sunday joints sorted. As a bonus we also got the ribs which needed to be cut out but that is easily done. We both have a rack of ribs for tea tonight and there is a rack of ribs for each of us in the freezer. So in effect we have nine meals for two.
They are quite easy to prepare basically you cut out the ribs and thicker bits of the bellies we then if they are really large cut the, into three but otherwise two. We make up stuffing mix the way I always make Sage and Onion Stuffing by either making my own from scratch or buying a packet mix adding boiling water until the stuffing mix is to the consistency you want it to be (I have it reasonably stiff but not dry so that it holds its shape). I then when the stuffing mix has cooled down mix in chopped raw onion, about 1 oz of butter and then using my hands mix all the sausage meat until the stuffing mix is evenly mixed in and amalgamated together. So much is then put into the centre of each joint and the two sides brought together and then tied in place with string you will need someone to assist you with tying and cutting and some of the stuffing will try and escape but is quite easy to put back. We then overwrap with cling film and a freezer bag. Pop into the freezer.
To cook defrost first and mop up any moisture from the joint being frozen a if the skin is wet it will not make good crackling. I then pop into a tray - I do not salt the skin which you can do if you so wih but then I pop the oven on Gas mark 7 and cook for about 40 minutes or until the crackling looks evenly crisp and then I turn the cooler down to gas mark 5 and cook until the meat is cooked . I then leave to stand for a little while before serving.
Tonight's tea i.e the ribs are marinating in the fridge as we speak. I have used some plum jelly that I made, a small pot of home made Chinese plum sauce and some home made tomato sauce spread on in layers and then mixed in all together on the rack of ribs with a knife. This has always been very tasty when I have done this before it has always been very tasty and the mixture does tend to change as to what I have to use up but I do try and make sure that the chinese plum sauce is used but its not always possible though. Do not be afraid to use sauces as marinades or chutneys in stews it all helps to add a kick to everyday cookery.
Here the ribs are marinating. Hope to show a photograph of the cooked ribs later.