When a couple of delicious paw paws and papayas show up on your doorstep to play with, there are SO many options, such as these ones on the Australian Papaya site…. but this girl has to try her own thing.
Even though the days have been unseasonably warm (tricking some plants into premature blooming), I still would like to believe it’s nearly winter, and so is time to dig out the old Crock Pot for some slow cooker goodness.
The day after the fruit arrived, we were in Aldi, and this week they had pork bellies on sale in the fresh meat section for $10/kilo. Not one to turn down a treat from Aldi, that pork belly found its way into our trolley and home with us, along with a sense of trepidation, having never cooked pork belly before.
After consulting the internets, we decided to season the pork belly well, let it sit, and do the slow cooking part of it first, and follow up with the crisping of the pork belly just before serving.
At the bottom of the crock pot, we placed a layer of sliced onion rounds topped with a layer of paw paw for the juice and sweetness to absorb into the belly. Having cooked roast pork with orange juice before, I know pork can taste delish with the sweetness of fruit cooked through it.
Six hours in the slow cooker as pictured, with a cup of chicken stock poured to halfway up the meat.
After that delicious smelling six hours in the slow cooker, the pork belly was transferred to a hot hot oven (220 degrees) for around 30 minutes to get that delicious crispy crackling :)
Served up with a delicious mash, an autumn salad of Swiss mushroom, bacon, coriander and baby spinach (with the paw paw not going to waste – it and the pork juices made a wonderful topping for our salad), the pork belly was demolished that night.
I’d call that a success!!!
Crispy Slow-Cooker Pork Belly with Paw Paw
1kg Pork Belly
1 Brown Onion
Half of a Paw Paw
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
Marinade – finely chop and mix ingredients
1/2 tsp chopped caraway seeds
1 tsp Chinese five spice
1 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 heaped tsp minced ginger
1 tbsp fresh chopped coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
a sprig of mint
salt and pepper to taste (plus a little extra salt to help the crispyness!)
- Combine ingredients for marinade in a bowl. Season to taste.
- Slice onion into rings, and line the bottom of your slow cooker with onion. Slice paw paw and layer on top of onion.
- Place pork belly in a tray. Spread marinade over top of the pork belly. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
- Place pork belly into slow cooker. Gently pour stock in around the sides so as not to displace marinade. Fill until meat of pork belly is half covered (ensure top of pork belly fat is sitting above the liquid)
- Cook on high for at least 6 hours.
- Preheat oven to 220 degrees celcius
- Place pork belly into a foil lined tray (leave the onion and the paw paw in the slow cooker) and cook in oven for around 30 minutes
- Allow meat to rest out of oven for 10-15 minutes before serving to allow crackling to do its thing!
- Slice and serve with your favourite mash and salad
- Top salad with the warm and spicy paw paw slices
Enjoy with friends and some nice red!
The Little Lioness was gifted a paw paw and a papaya from Australian Papaya and Impact Communications to create this recipe. We also had a play with some frozen berries and a papaya to make the layered yoghurt dessert below which is not at all creative, but strongly recommended by my tastebuds!
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