crisp Chinese belly pork - serves 4

1 x 1.5kg piece of thick belly pork with the rind un-scored
1 tablespoon Sichuan peppercorns
1 teaspoon black peppercorns
2 tablespoons Maldon sea salt flakes
2 teaspoons five-spice powder
2 teaspoons caster sugar

Spike the skin of the pork with a fine skewer or a larding needle as many times as you can, going through into the fat but not so deep that you go into the flesh. Then pour a kettle full of hot water over the skin, leave it to drain and then dry it off well.

Heat a dry, heavy-based frying pan over a high heat. Add the Sichuan and black peppercorns and shake them around for a few seconds until they darken slightly and start to smell aromatic. Transfer them to a mortar and pestles and crush to a fine powder.

Tip them into a bowl and stir in the sea salt, five spice powder and sugar.

Turn the pork flesh-side up on a tray and rub the flesh all over with the spice mixture.

Cover and refrigerate to marinate for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 200˚C.

Turn the pork skin-side up and place it on a rack resting on top of a roasting tin of water.

Roast the pork for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 160˚C and roast for a further 2 hours, topping up the water in the roasting tin now and then when necessary.

Increase the oven temperature once more to 230˚C and continue to roast the pork for a further 15 minutes until the skin is crisp enough.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool. It is best served warm.

Cut the pork into bite-sized pieces