These are unbelievably good – salty and crunchy, succulent and tender, tangy and spicy. Serve with chilled beers.
Instead of pork belly, use any cut of boneless chicken cooked on the barbecue, or leftover roast chicken.
2 long, medium-hot red chillies
Salt and flaky sea salt
⅓ cup caster (superfine granulated) sugar
1 cup rice wine vinegar
600g (1.3 pound) piece free-range pork belly
1 telegraph cucumber
2–3 very crisp, freshly baked baguettes (French bread)
Mayonnaise (a ready- made premium brand)
100g (3-4oz) spreadable chicken liver pâté
Iceberg lettuce leaves, washed, dried and chopped
1 cup chopped coriander
1 Peel carrots and slice into thin matchstick shapes. Chop chillies into strips. Put vegetables in a colander and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of salt and 1 teaspoon of the sugar. Massage vegetables for 2–3 minutes, until they are no longer gritty and have become a little watery. Drain for 15 minutes. Rinse, then wrap in paper towels to absorb excess moisture. Dissolve remaining sugar in rice wine vinegar in a large bowl and add vegetables. The vegetables can be prepared up to 3–4 hours ahead.
2 Bring pork belly to room temperature and let the skin dry off for 30 minutes (cover with a food umbrella). Read all about cooking pork here All you need to know about perfect crackling
Preheat oven to 220°C (425°F). Pat pork thoroughly dry with paper towels (damp skin won’t crackle). Rub meat side of pork with a little olive oil and put it in a small roasting dish, preferably one with shallow sides, skin side up. Rub skin with oil, then sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Immediately transfer to oven and roast for 45 minutes by which time the crackling should be well under way. Lower heat to 175°C (350°F) and cook for a further 45 minutes, until crackling is nicely crackled. If skin fails to crackle, finish it off under the grill (this is a last resort – grilled crackling tends to toughen and is never as good as crackling that forms during roasting). Transfer pork to a board but don’t cover.
3 Peel cucumber and slice thinly on the diagonal. Salt lightly. Split baguettes and spread with mayonnaise on one side and pâté on the other. Put a layer of lettuce on bases, then a good mound of pickled vegetables, sliced cucumber and coriander. Slice pork belly and crackling and add to baguettes. Put bread tops in place, tie with string if wished, and cut into pieces. Serve immediately.
No pâté? Use a good quality hummus instead.