Roasted Pork belly with apples

Pork belly and apple is an amazing combination that just works. By soaking the pork belly in brine for 24 hours you end up with a soft and succulent meat. By roasting your apples with the pork each person gets to enjoy this dish by slicing off pieces of soft apple as they go.

 

Serves:                                                  4

Preparation Time:                              10 minutes plus 24 hours marinating time

Cook Time:                                          Until pork is meltingly tender (approx 2 hours)

Ingredients

  • 1kg/2¼lb piece of pork belly
  • ½ cup/140g/5oz of Sea Salt
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 star anise, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200ml/7fl.oz Verjuice
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 small whole cooking apples

Method

  1. Score the skin of the pork belly, being careful not to pierce the flesh.
  2. In an airtight container large enough to hold the belly, place the salt, paprika, star anise, brown sugar, garlic and bay leaf.
  3. Top up container with cold water to cover the pork belly.
  4. Whisk brine to dissolve the salt.
  5. Place the pork belly in the brine skin-side down.
  6. Marinate for 24 hours.
  7. Remove the belly from the brine, rinse and pat dry.
  8. Allow pork belly to reach room temp and keep swabbing with paper towels – the drier the better.
  9. Pre-heat oven to 150°C/300°F/Gas mark 2.
  10. Peel the apples.
  11. Place the pork belly (flesh side down) and apples on a wire rack in a roasting tray.
  12. Combine vanilla and Verjuice.
  13. Pour vanilla and Verjuice mixture into bottom of roasting pan.
  14. Roast pork belly and apples for approximately 2 hours.
  15. The pork belly is cooked when the flesh comes away easily. Apples should be soft but still hold their shape.
  16. Remove apples from pan, increase oven temperature to 200°C/400°F/Gas mark 6 and leave for an additional 10 minutes.
  17. Make sure crackling goes crispy but does not burn.
  18. Serve with vegetables and enjoy the pork by slicing off bits of apple to go with it.

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