Pork, 1st cook:
½ cup non-iodised table salt
2 litres water
2 bay leaves
2 sprigs thyme
½ tbsp peppercorns
800g boneless pork belly in 1 piece
Pork, 2nd cook:
⅓ cup olive oil
2 bunches baby carrots
2½ tbsp sugar
50ml white wine
1 heaped tsp cumin seeds, or 1 tsp ground cumin
3 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp flat leaf parsley, chopped
Mashed potato, to serve
Preheat oven to 160C.
For the 1st stage of the pork, place water in a pot and bring to the boil along with salt, stirring until dissolved.
Find a baking dish that is deep enough to fit the pork belly plus an inch or so, and not too broad so the pork fits well. Slice the onion, and place on bottom of dish along with bay leaves, thyme and peppercorns. Place pork belly on top, skin side up, then pour over the salt water. If the pork belly is not covered, simply top up with some more plain water. Also, don’t overfill the dish. Cover with a sheet of baking paper, then tightly with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 3 hours. Remove from oven and drain out most of the liquid, then weigh the whole dish down with a heavy chopping board on top of the paper/foil (adding something else on top if needed). Place in the fridge to set overnight.
For the 2nd stage of the pork, pre-heat oven to 220C.
Remove pork belly from the fridge and discard all the remaining liquid and aromats, petting dry with paper towel. Use a sharp knife to score the skin in a small diamond crisscross pattern. Cut the pork into 4 even portions. Take a metal baking tray, cover the base with baking paper and olive oil, and place it on the stove top on very high. Once hot, place pork, skin side down in oil and allow to cook and crackle for 5 minutes. Flip the pork over and place the tray in the oven for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the carrots. Steam or boil carrots until al dente. Take a nonstick fry pan and heat on medium. Add sugar and cook until dissolved and golden, then deglaze with white wine and add butter, cumin and passionfruit. Season to taste and add carrots to coat.
To serve, place carrots and sauce next to the pork, and then sprinkle over parsley. Serve mashed potatoes on the side.