Roast pork belly with apple wedges & cider sauce
- 800g pork belly joint
- 2 tsp sunflower oil
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- 1 large onion
- 1 large carrot
- 150ml British dry cider
- 300ml pork stock, made with 1/2 a stock cube
- 1 level tbsp cornflour
- 4 Granny Smith apples
- 15g unsalted butter
Pre-heat the oven to 150C/130C Fan/Gas 2. Unroll the pork joint. Rub the skin with the oil, then sprinkle over the sea salt.
Cut the onion and carrot into thick slices, then put in a roasting tin to form a trivet – a layer for the pork to sit on, so that it cooks evenly. Lay the joint on top, skin side up. Add enough water to come halfway up the layer of veg – take care to avoid splashing the pork.
Cook the pork in the oven, uncovered, for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Check every 30 minutes and top up the water if needed.
At the end of the cooking time, turn the oven up to 220C/200C Fan/Gas 7. Top up the water again and cook for another 25-30 minutes, until the pork skin is crisp. Remove from the oven. Leave to rest for 20 minutes, then take out the veg (you can freeze it to use in soups or stews).
For the sauce, pour away the fat and liquid in the tin. Add a splash of the cider, then use a spatula to scrape off the bits stuck to the base – they’re full of flavour. Spoon the cider and bits into a pan. Add the rest of the cider. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 10 minutes to reduce slightly. Add the stock. Heat to a simmer again. Meanwhile, mix the cornflour with 1 tbsp cold water. Stir into the sauce until it boils and thickens.
Core and slice the apples. Fry in the butter until tender but still firm. Serve with the pork, with the sauce on the side.
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