Crisp-skinned pork belly with braised green lentils

Get some pork on your fork.
crisp-skinned pork belly with braised green lentils

A study in contrasts, crispy skinned, sweet fleshed pork belly on a bed of tender, earthy green lentils is a refined and elegant dish to serve to guests.

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1.Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan forced).
2.Using a sharp knife, score pork rind at 2cm (¾-inch) intervals. Place pork on wire rack over large shallow baking dish, rind side-up, rub oil and salt over rind. Roast, uncovered, about 35 minutes or until rind begins to blister.
3.Meanwhile, cut garlic bulbs in half horizontally, slice unpeeled onion thickly, quarter carrots.
4.Reduce oven temperature to 180°C (160°C fan forced).
5.Remove pork and rack from dish, discard fat from dish. Place garlic, onion, carrot, thyme and bay leaves in dish, pour over wine and vinegar. Top vegetables with pork, rind-side up. Carefully pour enough stock into dish to come halfway up side of pork (do not allow liquid to touch pork rind). Cover dish tightly with foil, roast pork about 1½ hours or until pork is cooked through.
6.Meanwhile, make braised green lentils. Finely chop peeled onion, crush garlic. Heat oil in large frying pan, cook onion and garlic, stirring, until onion softens. Add thyme, stock and lentils, bring to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, about 25 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in parsley, season to taste. Cover to keep warm.
7.Remove dish from oven. Increase oven temperature to 220°C (200°C fan forced). Remove pork from dish. Strain pan juices through muslin-lined sieve into medium saucepan, discard solids. Return pork to dish, roast, uncovered, about 15 minutes or until rind is crisp.
8.Meanwhile, bring pan juices to the boil. Reduce heat, simmer, uncovered, skimming fat from surface, until juices are reduced by half. Stir in tarragon.
9.Cut pork into 6 pieces, serve with lentils and pan juices.

Score the rind, without cutting all the way through, at 2cm (¾-inch) intervals.