Fog. Fog up the lanes and through the trees. Fog in the whiffling of the cows, fog muffling the sound of the bin men, fog dripping from the bushes and the gutters. Fog in the dips in the road, in the dazzle of car headlights, floating over the thin sun and drifting through the fields. Fog. In the diamonds of the grass and the sheen of the pavement, in the shudder of old shoulders and the shiver of bare bellies.
On days like these what we need is something rib-sticking to eat. Something easy and slow and succulent. Something to put in the oven and forget.
Slow Roasted Pork Belly
Nothing could be easier, or tastier.
You need about 1 kg of pork belly, skin scored
Preheat the oven to 160ºC
Dash 1 tbsp of oil into a roasting dish
Slice a couple of onions in half and put them, cut side down, in the dish, to act as a trivet for the meat.
Rub the pork belly skin with a little oil and sprinkle with salt.
Place pork on top of onions
Put some boiling water in the roasting dish to stop everything drying out
Roast slowly for three hours or more, checking from time to time to make sure the dish does not dry out.
Serve with baked potatoes and roast parsnips, which can also be done in the oven, and apple sauce.
The onions caramelise, the gravy makes itself (just skim off the fat at the last minute), the fat renders off and makes wonderful crackling, and you hardly need to stir from your place in front of the fire reading Bleak House, by Charles Dickens.