After the success of the pork belly and gooseberry relish at the last Plate Lickers supper club Jo I and decided to share the recipes (Jo recently posted the recipe for the gooseberry relish which you can read here). We ended up using 8.5kg of Dingley Dell pork belly and 3 bottles of wine for our supper club and despite it being the course we were most nervous about, it was definitely the star of the night. The butchers at Andrew Northrops on Mill Road we so helpful. They advised us on how to get the best crackling, the juiciest meat & how much meat we would need to feed 30.
We decided to keep the meat on the bone as this was the best way to ensure it would stay nice & moist. They told us that to get good crackling you need to make sure that the skin is really dry. The meat you normally buy in supermarkets is shrink-wrapped so it tends to be quite wet, but at Northrops they they always hang theirs which means the skin gets a chance to dry out. They also suggested that before salting the skin to slightly dampen your hands and pat the skin gently so that the salt had something to stick to. If you do this, make sure not to add too much salt as it will end up forming a crust across the skin. One last tip is to ask your butcher very nicely to score the skin for you (and also to remove the nipples!) This takes them seconds and will save you a lot of work trying to do it with a knife at home.