These chunks of belly spent the night in the refrigerator sprinkled with a mixture of salt and quatre-epices. (Ground allspice makes a good substitute if you don't have any of this very French seasoning).
Next I patted them dry and fried them in a little lard until they are brown and crisp on all sides. A splatter screen will help make the clean up easier.
A kilo of belly, skin removed gave me about 14 good sized pieces. It goes without saying you want a piece of belly with a good amount of fat. Once the pieces are nicely browned on all four sides place them in a heavy casserole big enough to hold them in a single layer. Pour over the fat from frying pan leaving behind any debris. Add some herbs, crushed garlic, black pepper, a little white wine and water and cook for 30 minutes in a hot oven 400F/200C turning every 10 minutes.
Lower the oven to 275F/150C and check the level of the cooking liquid, it should be about halfway up the pieces. If not add some more lard, cover and cover and cook for about another 2 hours or until very tender but not falling apart. This what you will end up with -
Now they are delicious hot out of the pan I didn't even bother with the wine! Or you can let them cool and pour that glass of white wine. And don't throw out that fat. Strain it and keep it for cooking potatoes. Then take a thick piece of bread and wipe it across the bottom of the pan - you will get a wonderful mix of caramelized cooking juices, garlic and herbs. Absolutely the perfect snack to cheer me up on this winter day.