This little piggy

First sat in a brine (of sugar, salt, peppercorns, juniper berries and bay leaves) for 24 hours.

Then I unrolled it and rubbed its fat little belly with a top secret blend of herbs and spices (including onion, almonds, currants, citrus peel, thyme, rosemary, all loosened up with a good glug of honeyed grappa):


Then it got rolled up again and sat in the fridge for another day.

At lunchtime yesterday, into the oven it went – nice and cool, 150C – where it sat for the next five hours (covered for the first two), while we caught up on some more vintage Star Trek. At the end of our voyages, with some fiercely directed heat for crackling, we got this:


Which, with a sharp knife and asbestos fingers, finally became this:


And now that pork belly is fast on its way to becoming human – we managed all but one slice. We thank it for its patience – unhurried pigs make happy people.