Belly of Pork

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This recipe is by the Norwegian chef Eivind Hellstrøm. He is Norways answer to Gordon Ramsey. This course is the traditional Christmas dinner for the eastern parts of Norway but it is getting served more and more often in other parts of the country.
It takes about two and a half hour make this dish.

Ingredients (4 people):
1 liter water
1 belly of pork (3-5 kilos)
10 cloves of garlic
Salt and pepper

Method:
Add a generous amount of salt to the belly 1-2 days before you are cooking the meat.
When you are cooking the belly of pork, preheat the oven to 180 C. Cut fine cubed slices to the skin of the belly of pork using a very sharp knife. About 1×1 cm squares. Add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper to both the skin and meaty side of the pork belly. Add the water to a deep baking tray, add the cloves of unpeeled garlic and add the pork belly to the baking tray, skin side down.

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Leave to cook for an hour. Then turn the belly around and cook for another hour with the meaty side down. Make sure the water doesn’t dry out. Add more water if needed. When half an hour of the cooking time is left, bast the belly with the liquid in the baking tray. Do this from time to time the last half hour.

If the skin is not crispy turn the temperature up to 230 C. Make sure it doesn’t burn. If the skin is not crispy yet you can turn on grill function for a few minutes.
Leave the belly to rest for 5 minutes or so before curing it into slices.
You can serve it with gravy, boiled potatoes, prunes and red cabbage.

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