Pork belly with roasted apples
Photo by Deborah Aspray
Our Mum’s most requested meal that she likes us to make for her is pork belly. She always brings some home when it is on special so we can cook it for her. We haven’t been home to cook for a month so we know she will be excited to have this meal tonight. Pork and apples are a classic combination and they really help in this dish to cut through the meat’s richness. We make the gravy using the juices in the bottom of the pan, just like she taught us.
- Set the oven to 150C. Using a mortar and pestle, crush the fennel seeds, caraway seeds, sage leaves, garlic and sea salt then add the olive oil to the mix.
- Score the pork belly and rub the mixture all over it. Place the pork in a large roasting pan and cook for 2 hours. Add the apple and onions, baste with the pan juices and cook for a further half hour.
- Increase the heat to 210C and roast for a further 30 minutes or until the skin has crisped up and the apple and onion are soft. Remove the apples and pork from the pan and allow the meat to rest.
- For the sauce, reserve the pan juices from the pan and skim as much fat off the top as you can. Place the roasting tray on a low heat (if you don’t have a roasting pan suitable for heating on the stove top put the juices in a pot).
- Whisk the flour into the pan juices and, once combined, add the chicken stock, cider and thyme. Whisk continually and simmer the mix for 10 minutes or until thickened. Add the apples back into the sauce and coat.
- Slice the pork and serve with the apples and sauce, plus your choice of vegetables.