Slow roast Spanish pork belly

I have no idea if they cook pork belly this way in Spain, but if they do not, they certainly should. The flavours I have used a definitely Spanish.

The meat came out very tender and succulent, and the crackling was crunchy and tasty. The key is roasting the skin at a high temperature then allowing the meat to slowly simmer in liquid.

I served this pork belly as part of a stunningly gourmet sandwich with brioche bun, spicy barbecue sauce, and red cabbage and fennel slaw, which I highly recommend. The recipes are all linked above.



  1. Combine the olive oil, paprika, cayenne and salt in a small bowl and set aside
  2. Pre-heat your oven to 220ºC
  3. Score the skin, cutting through the top but not all the way to the meat. Prop the belly up on an angle, and pour the boiling water over the skin so that it runs off. The boiling water lighly blisters the skin to produce crisp crackling. Pat dry the belly with a paper towel then place skin side down in a roasting pan only a little larger than the belly.
  4. Brush on the olive oil marinade onto the bottom of the belly and the sides, then flip the belly over and paste the skin as well.
  5. Place the roasting pan into the oven for twenty minutes.
  6. Pull the pan out and pull the fino sherry into the pan. Place back into the oven and roast for a further 20 minutes.
  7. Turn the pan around then add 2 cups of the vegetable stock to the pan. Place back into the oven and roast for a further 20 minutes.
  8. Add the rest of the vegetable stock, turn down the oven to 130ºC and cook for two hours.
  9. Allow the belly to rest in the liquid for 20 minutes, then pull out and cut up. The crackling should be a dark brown and very crisp, and the meat should be able to be pulled apart.
  10. To serve, cut the brioche buns in half, place the barbecue sauce on the bottom, followed by the pork, then top with the slaw and the brioche top.

Posted in marinades and salts, Roast, Tagines and stews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brioche buns

Brioche are a truly decadent bread, that can almost be though of as a yeasted cake. The liquid in this bread comes mostly from the eggs and butter.

I was surprised by how little the dough rised during proving, but they really puffed up in the oven and come out very light and tasty.


  • 60g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 160g ’00’ white bread flour
  • 4g active dried yeast
  • 1 Tbsp rye starter
  • 15g honey
  • 30g milk
  • 3 free range eggs
  • 5g salt
  • 125g softened butter cut into small cubes


  1. Put all the ingredients except the butter into into the bowl of a stand mixer and first bring together by hand, then mix with a dough hook on a low speed for 3 minutes. Increase the speed to high for another three minutes. Reduce the speed to medium and slowly add the cubes of soft butter, allowing the butter to be combined before adding more.
  2. Cover the bowl and leave to rise at room temperature for an hour – it will not rise a large amount.
  3. Knock back the dough in the bowl by folding it on itself several times, then cover and leave to rise for a further hour.
  4. Generously flour a bench top and pull the dough out. Divide the dough into 6 portions and round the edges of each.
  5. Working with one piece at a time form the rolls by grabbing the third furthest from you and pulling away and stretching the dough then bringing back to the centre, then repeating with the right and left thirds. Finally grabbing the nearest third do the same then roll the dough together and over so that the seam is on the bottom. Repeat for each roll and generously cover with flour and sit on baking paper to rise for another hour. Do not worry if the rolls seem very small, they do most of their rising in the oven.
  6. Pre-heat the oven to 220ºC with a pizza stone inside. Once the rolls are ready, bring the pizza stone out and place the baking paper and rolls on to the pizza stone and place back in the oven. Reduce the heat in the oven to 180ºC and cook for 17 minutes until the rolls are a nice dark golden brown.
Posted in Bread | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spicy barbecue sauce



  1. In a saucepan heat the onion in some olive oil over a medium heat for 5 minutes until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a another minute
  2. Add the cayenne, cumin and smoked paprika and stir through
  3. Deglaze the pot using the fino sherry. Allow for the alcohol to burn off then add the rest of the ingredients. Allow to simmer for 30 minutes, taste and season.
  4. Allow to cool then blitz in a blender.
Posted in Barbecue, Dips and salsas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Fennel and red cabbage slaw

I made this slaw using my own lime alioli but you could use any good quality mayonnaise


  • 1/4 red cabbage thinly sliced
  • 1 large fennel bulb thinly sliced
  • 3 heart stalks of celery and their leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch spring onions thinly sliced
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime
  • Lime alioli to taste


  1. Using a mandolin or slicing attachment for a food processor slice up all the vegetables and combine in a large bowl
  2. Add the lime and alioli to coat
  3. Taste and season
Posted in Salads | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Lime alioli



  1. Put the egg yolks, mustard, lime, vinegar, water and sugar in a mixing bowl and blend together
  2. Using a stand mixer on low, continue beating the mix and slowly drizzle in the oil, allowing the oil to be incorporated smoothly before adding more
  3. Taste and season
  4. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks
Posted in Dips and salsas | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Spelt and honey semi-sourdough bagels

I thought that I would have another go at a spelt and honey bread, but this time I decided to turn them into my first ever bagels. The bagels were very easy to make, they just take a bit of time and therefore planning ahead to get them ready for breakfast. I did this by making the dough the night before and doing the initial bulk rise in the fridge overnight.

It was slightly odd working with a stiff dough, as all my sourdough breads are much wetter. What you have to realise is that the boiling of the bagel adds the extra water does the initial steaming that I try to achieve using the dutch oven with my sourdough.

Instead of water in the dough, I actually made these with camomile tea. This is due to the recipe requiring warm water and I had some tea left in the pot.

The honey spelt flavour worked brilliantly. You can change the honey to any sweet syrup such as maple, agave or golden syrup.

I served these with ricotta and honey.


  • 1 Tbsp warm water (or tea)
  • 1 tsp active dried yeast
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp rye sourdough starter (if you do not have, then add another 1/2 tsp yeast)
  • 1 cup warm water (or tea)
  • 200g wholemeal spelt flour
  • 200g strong white flour
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Boiling water

  • 3L water
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp salt



  1. In the bottom of a mixing bowl put 1 Tablespoon of warm water with the yeast and sugar and let stand for 10 minutes until it starts to bubble.
  2. Add the starter (if using), 1 cup of warm water, flour, honey, salt and oil and mix to combine. Using a stand mixer, mix on a low to medium speed for 5 minutes (or 10 minutes by hand) until the dough is well formed and glossy.
  3. Transfer to a greased bowl, loosely cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight (or rise for 1.5 hours)
  4. In the morning, knock the bread back and leave to rise in a warm spot for one hour until doubled in size again.
  5. Get the boiling liquid going by filling a large pot with water with honey and salt – the honey and salt reduce the boiling temperature and help flavour the bagel skin
  6. Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius (400F) and place a pizza stone in the middle
  7. Lightly flour a bench top with 1 tablespoon of flour, just enough to make sure the dough does not stick too badly, and also grab a sheet of baking paper and a tea towel
  8. Pull the dough out and divide into six equal parts, take one part at a time and roll out into a rope 2 cm in diameter, the press the two ends together to form the bagel shape. Allow a space in the centre for three fingers to fit in, this will make sure that the bagel keeps a hole when it puffs up. Place each bagel on the baking sheet to await boiling.
  9. Combine the cornflour with the water and set to the side
  10. Once the water is boiling and all your bagels are formed place two or three bagels in the water, allowing space in between. Flip each bagel after 30 seconds, then pull out and place on the tea towel after a further 30 seconds.
  11. Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the boiled bagels with the cornflour mix, then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.
  12. Once all the bagels have been boiled and topped, pull the pizza stone out of the oven, place the baking sheet ontop then the bagels. Make sure to leave space around each bagel as they will rise further in the oven. Place the bagels in the oven and cook for 17 minutes until a dark golden brown.
  13. Wait for the bagels to cool, slice open and serve with ricotta and honey.
Posted in Breakfast, Sourdough | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rye and Spelt Sourdough

A couple of weeks ago I went to the new Movida bakery in South Yarra. While I prefer the pastries I get from my local French bakery Chimmy’s, I loved the spelt loaf. It was very light for spelt, and had a wonderful honey flavour, especially caramalised in the crust.

I decided that I wanted to make a similar honeyed spelt loaf. However I was running low on my bread flours, so ended up with a mix of spelt, rye and white 00. The mix though ended up with a very tasty bread with a dominant rye flavour, but without being too heavy. I will have to try again in future to capture the Movida honeyed spelt.

I made this bread using the Tartine ‘no knead’ method. This method uses a very wet dough and takes a long time. You can split the method over two days by retarding the rise in the fridge for up to 24 hours.

Makes two large loaves.


  • 800g tepid water
  • 300g rye starter
  • 370g white spelt flour
  • 370g white 00 flour
  • 260g rye flour
  • 5g dry active yeast
  • 20g salt
  • 20g honey


  1. Put the water in a large mixing bowl and add the starter, if the starter floats then it is active enough to use, mix the starter into the water
  2. Add the flour and yeast and mix through to combine using a bowl scraper for five minutes. I do this holding the edge of the bowl in my left hand and the bowl scraper in my right, then bringing my two hands towards each other in a circular manner and repeating. Or you can use a large stand mixer on a low speed – my Artisan Kitchen Aid is too small for this size bread.
  3. Let the dough stand for 20 minutes, then add the salt and honey and mix for another 5 minutes until the dough has started to develop.
  4. Cover the bowl with a tea towel and let sit at room temperature for an hour.
  5. With the bowl scrapper, knock the dough back by scooping underneath and pulling over to the top several times around the edge of the bowl. Leave to rest for another hour. Repeat the knock back and resting every hour for a total of four hours. The dough should have more than doubled in size. You do not need to be precious about the timing being exactly one hours, I kept going off and doing the shopping and household chores between times.
  6. Flour your bench top and pull the dough out of the bowl. Cut the dough in half and gently round using the bowl scrapper. Leave the dough to sit for 20 minutes.
  7. Form the bread. To do this put the bowl scrapper underneath the top of the dough, then grab to top third, pull this away from you until the bread is about to break then bring it back and place into the centre. Repeat with the right, then left. Then do the same with the part closet to you, finishing by rolling the dough up and over so that the bottom is now on top. Then gently round the bread, dust with flour and top with a tea towel. Repeat with the second loaf. Leave the loaves to rise and double in size over two hours.
  8. Heat an oven to 220 degrees with two dutch ovens inside. Once the bread is ready, gently pick it up off the bench and place into the dutch ovens, score the top with a sharp knife, cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes. Take the lids off and bake for a further 20 minutes. Take the bread out and turn out of the dutch ovens, the bread is cooked if it sounds hollow.
Posted in Sourdough | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment