Loin of bacon with honey and five-spice.

A modern twist can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be, for me I like to keep things simple so I find experimenting with herbs, spices or a few additional ingredients transforms any favourite. The majority of my ideas come from eating out, travel, reading food books or simply looking into the back of my cupboards when I’m in need of doing a grocery shop!
Chinese five-spice is an ingredient I often reach for, especially when cooking pork, lamb or duck. The spice is a blend of five spices and may include cassia (a close relative of cinnamon), star anise, Sichuan pepper, fennel seeds, cloves, ginger, cardamom or liquorice root, making it a blend of sweet, warm, spicy and cool. As usual, I recommend you use your local Craft Butcher for the pork.

Serves 6 +
3lb loin of bacon
6 whole peppercorns
6 tablespoons of honey
4 teaspoons of five-spice

Place the bacon joint in a large saucepan with the whole peppercorns and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 200°c. Remove the cooked bacon joint from the saucepan. Carefully cut the rind from the loin of bacon and score the remaining fat in a criss-cross fashion. Place in a roasting tin and spread with the mixed honey and five spice.
Place in the oven and roast for 20-30 minutes, until the fat is golden brown and the bacon is completely heated through. Remove from the oven and transfer to a warmed platter to rest, covered loosely with foil. I like to serve this with stir fried cabbage (see ‘recipes’) and mashed potato.

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