Xmas Dinner: Crispy Roast Pork Belly and ALL the Sides

For xmas dinner we’re going for a pork belly, slow roasted with a crispy skin. We’ve ordered a non-unreasonably 1kg belly for the two of us. But of course we’ll want ALL THE SIDES.

To avoid still having ALL THE SIDES for the next week, we’re taking the leftovers round for a family meal on boxing day, where a pre-cooked goose will be waiting for our sides.

To avoid stress on xmas day we’re prepping what we can in advance…

On Xmas Eve

Chestnut & Sourdough Stuffing

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Based on this Jones Dairy Farm recipe, with added sausage meat.

Chestnuts roasted according to this BBC Food recipe.

Cranberry Sauce

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BBC Good Food again…

Cauliflower Cheese

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Prep’d, ready to bake tomorrow.

Prep Pork Belly

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As per Cook’s Illustrated: remove ribs (and freeze for Yankee Beans for Superbowl Sunday!). Slice into two 6cm strips. Season bottom and sides with course salt and sugar, season skin with course salt.

Garlic Parmesan Mashed Potatoes

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From Cook’s Illustrated.

Par-Boiling for Roasties

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It’s just a 10 minute boil, followed by bashing them about to rough up the outsides to make better crispy bits when we roast them tomorrow.

Mashed Swede

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With butter and thyme.

Xmas School Shortcake

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The fridge is too full with all the above for the box of mincemeat that we didn’t have enough Kilner jars for, so I need to use it up. We’ve also got marzipan leftover from Soph’s xmas cakes, so I’m turning to my old primary school’s reliable shortcake recipe to use them up.

Then on Xmas Day…

Roast Pork Belly

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Back to the Cook’s Illustrated system to slow-roast then fry the skin up before serving.

Sprouts (with bacon… duh!)

I say ‘duh’ but I forgot to take a picture…

Bread Sauce

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Duck Fat Roast Potatoes

Once again: photo forgotten…

Maple Roasted Parsnips & Carrots

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Pigs in Blankets & Devils on horseback

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 Putting it all together…

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Wow. I think I’m experiencing the feeling called ‘full’. It’s not something I’m normally acquainted with.

Everything was… well everything had bacon or other pork products involved, so it was of course delicious! Pork belly skin was lovely and bubly and crispy, sprouts were crispy and bacony, roasties were crispy and covered in duck fat, pigs in blankets (bacon) devils on horseback (bacon), stuffing (bacon & sausage) mash-cauli/cheese/more mash… mmm… mmm… mmm…

You get the idea :)

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