Forget Turkey -- This Is The Juicy, Crackly Christmas Main You Need To Make
If you're stuck in a Christmas menu rut -- 'MasterChef's Tim Bone has got you covered.
Tim became known as the cooking competition's resident meat expert in 2019, creating some very tasty dishes like his lamb cutlets with roast pumpkin puree, steak and mushroom with parsnip and miso butter, and, of course, his crispy pork belly showstopper.
We decided to give T-Bone a call to find out what he's cooking up for his family this Christmas, mostly so we can copy exactly what he's doing and learn a few tips and tricks along the way.
Tim told 10 daily that lunch at his place on December 25 is all about "a big traditional meal with all the trimmings" and this year, he's serving up an Italian classic -- porchetta.
Better With Porchetta
Porchetta generally involves rolling up some delicious pork belly and roasting until the meat is juicy and the skin is crunchy and crackly -- but there are countless options when it comes to the stuffing.
"A couple of weeks ago I made a pesto and rubbed that into the pork flesh," Tim told 10 daily of a recent test run he did for one of his Tim's Toasties pop-ups.
"And then I got some raw chorizo sausage, cut that out of the casings and crumbled that onto the pork with some chilli flakes, fennel seeds, and lemon zest," he added.
All you need to do next is roll up the pork belly and use some butchers twine to tie all that deliciousness in place and then just "cook that until it’s beautiful" -- about 2.5-3 hours in an oven at 160 degrees.
Tim's Porchetta Tips
"Whatever you’re putting on the inside (pesto etc), get that all rolled up and have it sitting uncovered in the fridge for at least 24 hours to let the skin dry out and give it the best chance to get those nice pork crackles."
"It doesn’t have to be pesto, it could be literally any flavours," Tim explained of choosing the herbs and spices for your stuffing. "Spanish, Italian, Indian --whatever you want. It’s taking that roast pork and bringing it to the next level."
"You’ve really got to get lots of nice sea salt onto the skin and give it a good massage and score the skin to give it the chance to sink into the flesh as much as you can," Tim told 10 daily.
"It might seem like it’s more salt than you need but, hey, you’re only going to have a little bit of pork crackling and a little goes a long way.
Get the temperature pumping
Tim's hot tip for getting crispy, crunchy skin started is to "get your oven or BBQ as hot as it goes and then reducing the temperature right back down to cook it slowly".
"That’s the best chance to get beautiful pork crackle," he said.