Photograph by Gentl and Hyers Food Styling by Maggie Ruggiero Prop Styling by Theo Vamvounakis

Roasted Pork Belly with Banana Ketchup

Starters from Issue 3 – Spring / Summer 2013 – Rough Cut

“We’ve got to have rules and obey them. After all, we’re not savages. We’re English!” So decreed choir leader Jack after a plane crash leaves the boys castaways. But it’s Jack who would be first to descend into the savagery and brutality that would be their undoing. Pig—the wild variety they rapaciously hunt and Piggy, their bespectacled classmate who earns plenty of ribbing—figures large, so we made a succulent roasted pork belly and tropical-style ketchup.

serves 4 to 6

  • 1 lb piece pork belly, skin removed
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp sugar

Banana Ketchup Glaze
  • ½ medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 pitted dates, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • tsp cayenne
  • ¾ cup water
  • 1 large very ripe banana, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp honey

  • 1

    Rub pork with salt and sugar and chill covered with plastic wrap 6 hours or overnight.

  • 2

    Preheat oven to 350°F. Pat pork dry and place fat side up in a baking pan preferably just large enough to hold it. Pour in 1 cup of water and seal pan tightly with foil. Roast until pork is fork tender, about 2 hours.

  • 3

    While pork cooks, sauté onion in oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until translucent, 6 to 7 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Stir in dates, tomato paste and spices and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes, until thickened. Cool slightly then purée in a blender or food processor.

  • 4

    After two hours increase temperature of pork to 400°F. Uncover dish and drain off any liquid. Brush pork with some banana ketchup. Roast, turning and brushing with additional ketchup every 10 minutes, until meat is well glazed and very tender, about 30 minutes.

  • 5

    Serve with grilled bread and additional banana ketchup.