Kamping Country – Pork Belly with crackling in a camp oven

By KK Owner Monica Coleman – Author of  “Destination Red Centre – an Insider’s Guide

Now you’re probably thinking that you’d have to make enough coals to heat the camp oven for hours and that’s a lot of wood and time! But here’s a much cleverer way of going about making this delectable favourite. At home, treat yourself to some pork belly for dinner one night and par-cook a couple of extra pieces. 

At home:

1) Score the fat of the pork belly with a sharp knife. Cut into serving sized pieces and sprinkle with a generous amount of sea salt.
2) Put the pork in the fridge, uncovered, and leave for at least a day. This will dry out the skin.
3) Preheat your oven to a very high heat (about 225-230 degrees). As soon you turn the oven on, remove the pork from the fridge and leave on the bench to come up to room temperature.
4) Put a layer of thickly sliced root vegetables in the bottom of a baking tray and place the pieces of pork on top.
5) Bake in the very hot oven for about 30 mins. This will start the crackling process.
6) Turn the heat down to quite low (about 120 degrees) and leave it for 3-4 hours. This will allow the pork to slowly cook through.
7) Remove the pieces you want to take camping with you. Cool them. I like to Cryovac them and freeze them at this point.
8) Turn the oven back to very high to finish cooking tonight’s dinner. It will take 15-20 mins to crisp up the pork belly crackling. Serve alongside your slow roasted veggies. I love placing the meat on a layer of tangy davidson’s plum and chilli sauce.

At camp:

1) Thaw the pork and place on a trivet in your camp oven.
2) Because the meat is already cooked through you should only place hot coals on top of the lid. Use plenty, and keep topping them up.
3) The time will vary but it usually takes about 30 mins to get that crackling to a mouth-watering state.

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