Pork belly with quince, baby pumpkins and medlar vinegar

Digging deep into our freezer and finding a wonderful piece of pork belly from a Gloucester Old Spot, we then raided the vegetable rack for suitable items to roast alongside it.

It’s another way we can use up the immature pumpkins we gleaned while clearing the garden of the invasive mass of leaves and stalk!

  • Rare breed pork belly, boned and the fat scored (the thick end of the belly from the middle of the pig has more meat on and is great for this recipe)
  • stratta medlar vinegar
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cornish sea salt
  • 4 small parsnip, pealed and cut lengthways
  • 6 thin carrots, pealed and chunked
  • 4 end-of-season immature pumpkins, topped and tailed and cut in half
  • Onion, chopped
  • Handful of small garlic cloves
  • 2 quince, cored and chopped
  • 1 pint chicken stock

Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Lay the pork skin side down in a dish and rub the meat with the medlar vinegar, extra virgin olive oil and black pepper.  Turn it over and rub the skin with salt and olive oil.  Place in the fridge while you prepare the vegetables.

Line a deep roasting tray with all of the vegetables, add the chicken stock and top with the pork, skin side up.  Add any of the marinade left to the dish.

Roast for 15 minutes; turn the heat down to 140°C and cook for at least a further 3 hours.  Check every hour and if the skin is browning too quickly, loosely cover with a sheet of tin foil.