Here is another recipe from my Sunday Mercury column.
*You can ask your butcher to bone out your belly, to make carving very easy. Belly of pork does take a while to roast but it is very well behaved and bastes itself as it cooks. In this recipe I have allowed 250g (10oz) portions because it shrinks quite a lot during cooking. Ask your butcher to score the skin well.
INGREDIENTS serves 4
1 kg (2lb4oz) belly of pork (boned)
1 white onion, finely sliced
1 sweetheart cabbage
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled
250ml C/z pint) chicken stock
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 160°C/gas mark 4.
- Rub in the olive oil and season the pork on both sides. Place skin side up on a wire rack and put the rack over a roasting tray.
- Roast for 2 ½ hours on the middle shelf, then turn the heat down to 170°C / gas mark 3 and cook for another 15 minutes on the bottom shelf.
- Quarter the cabbage remove the stalk then slice each quarter lengthwise into thin strips. Wash the cabbage and then blanch in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes.
- Sweat the onion in a large saucepan using 1 tbsp butter until soft (4-5 minutes) without colour. Dies three-quarters of the apple into a small even dice.
- Drain the cabbage, add to the onion and then stir in 50 ml (2fi oz) of chicken stock. Add the diced apple and cook the cabbage on a low heat until tender, then season.
- Slice the remaining apple into thick slices and place in the bottom of the pork roasting tray during the last 15 minutes of cooking so the pork juices drip onto the apple slices.
- When the pork is cook let it rest for 10 minutes in a warm place and save the apple slices to one side.
Add the remaining chicken stock to the roasting tray and boil briskly, whisking from time to time to make sure the sediment from the pork incorporates with the stock to make your gravy.
Use a pastry cutter to make a neat cabbage circle in the centre of your warm plates. Top with a slice or two of pork. Decorate with the roasted apple and drizzle a little gravy around the plate or offer at the table.
To keep the belly warm, just turn the oven off, leaving the door well ajar so it is not too hot. Place the belly on a baking tray and at the bottom of the oven. You could also try adding a tbsp of grain mustard to the pan juice gravy. *If you don’t own a wire rack you can ask your butcher for the bones to use in place of a wire rack to rest the belly on during cooking.
©Kevin Ashton 2002-2016 all rights reserved
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