Crisp cider-braised pork belly

Crisp cider-braised pork belly

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(9 ratings)

Prep: 20 mins Cook: 3 hrs, 30 mins Plus pressing overnight

More effort

Serves 4
Barney Desmazery's prepare-ahead recipe for the perfect pork belly will be a sure-fire hit at your next dinner party

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal915
  • fat67g
  • saturates24g
  • carbs10g
  • sugars8g
  • fibre2g
  • protein66g
  • salt1.22g
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Ingredients

  • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
    Carrot

    Carrot

    ka-rot

    The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…

  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • few celery sticks, roughly chopped
    Celery

    Celery

    sell-er-ee

    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • sprig fresh thyme

    Thyme

    This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500ml good-quality cider
    Cider

    Cider

    si-der

    Cider is an alcoholic beverage made from the fermented juice of apples. Apple orchards were…

  • small splash cider vinegar, plus extra to season
  • 1l fresh chicken stock
  • 1.2kg piece unscored boneless pork belly
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    A variety of oils can be used for baking. Sunflower is the one we use most often at Good Food as…

  • apple mash and Mustard cabbage, to serve (see tip)
    Apples

    Apple

    ap-pel

    Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…

Method

  1. Day 1: Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/ gas 4. Place all the ingredients except the pork and sunflower oil in a flameproof pan that will fit the pork snugly – a casserole dish is ideal. Season, bring everything to the boil then turn down the heat and slide the pork into the pan. The pork should be totally submerged – if it isn’t, top up with water. Cover the dish with a lid or tight tent of foil and place it in the oven for 3 hrs undisturbed.

  2. When the pork is cooked, leave it to cool slightly in the stock. Line a flat baking tray with cling film. Carefully lift the pork into the tray and make sure you get rid of any bits of vegetables or herbs as they will end up pressed into the pork. Cover the pork with another sheet of cling film and cover with a flat tray or dish – the tray must be completely flat as any indentations will be pressed into the pork. Weigh the pork down with another dish or some cans and leave to cool in the fridge overnight. Strain the juices into a jug or small saucepan, cover and chill.

  3. Day 2: Unwrap the pork and place on a board. Trim the uneven edges so that you have a neat sheet of meat. Cut the meat into 4 equal pieces and set aside until ready to cook. Lift off any bits of fat from the braising juices and tip what will now be jelly into a saucepan, then bubble down by about two-thirds until starting to become slightly syrupy. Add a few more drops of vinegar, to taste.

  4. Heat the oil in a large frying pan until hot, then turn the heat down. Add the pork to the pan, skin-side down – be careful as it has a tendency to spit. Sizzle the pork as you would bacon for 5 mins until the skin is crisp. Flip it over and cook for 3-4 mins until browned. Place a small pile of cabbage on the side of each plate and sit a piece of pork on top. Place a spoonful of mash on the other side of the plate, drizzle over the sauce and serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Comments (22)

Jazman's picture

Not had any luck with this or any belly pork recipe with poaching in the first stage - I end up with flabby burnt skin even following the recipe to the letter. I can make crackling fine the normal way, does anyone know what I'm doing wrong?

20mitchell06's picture

Check the pork belly regularly to make sure it is always entirely submerged. If the liquid reduces below the skin, it will begin to roast and eventually burn. Patting the skin dry before refrigerating may help it dry slightly then when frying the pork remove it from the fridge and generously salt the skin this will help draw moisture out, allow the pork to come to room temperature. Put it skin side down in a cold frying pan then bring the heat up to a light sizzle as chefdom recommended, it may take 20-30 minutes but this way you will get lovely crackling without the risk of quickly over cooking and burning the skin.

Jazman's picture

Thanks, I'll give that a go

Jazman's picture

Cannot get this or any belly pork where you poach it in the first stage to work! I always end up with rubbery, burnt pork skin. I can cook crispy crackling perfectly the usual way though. Any suggestions on what's going wrong?

Clarethornton1510@me.com's picture
5

Amazing!! Made this for a dinner party and all the guests loved it. I served it with plain mash and apple sauce separately and added petit pois to the cabbage which worked well. Will definitely do it again.

bezza110's picture
5

First tine for cooking belly pork and loved it. Perfect for dinner parties as so much prep is done the day before. Can't wait to cook it again

s12oux's picture

Mmm. I was in a hurry, so cooked strips of belly like this 2 hours. Seemed a waste to chuck veg stock away so pureed it, very soupy. Finished off pork in pan until crisp and served with crunchy roast potatoes, peas and puree of stock. Sorry barney have done a few of yours with great success but this didnt do it. Love your chick pea chorizo and pork thing though

drilldille's picture

The sauce was FANTASTIC!!! And pressing the meat makes a very pretty presentation.
Will do this it this way with other pork belly recipes.

kathryndonna's picture

I too could only get pork with a scored rind but I think this helped the final crisping up process. I took ChefDom's advice and finished the pork off starting in a cold pan (thank you!) Eventually the skin crisped up but took about 30 minutes. Loads of fat melted out which I spooned off during the process and even so the end result was still quite fatty under the crackling. The meat was beautifully tender and looked very professional. I would use this method again as I think with a little practice I might just get the perfect crackling I have been looking for.

rachmo7's picture
5

This was lovely...well worth the effort and looked exactly as the picture. Family very impressed, will definitely make again. Slight problem crisping the skin but a few minutes under the grill at the last minute finished it off perfectly. Served with wholegrain mustard mash and buttered greens with apple sauce on the side.

jessharcat's picture
5

I made this for my husband at his request; he had the same meal at a restaurant and loved it. Everything turned out beautifully, and I agree with all who say that this is a fantastic way to prepare pork belly. It was tender and delicious. I prepared the full meal as suggested, with mustard cabbage and apple mash. The flavours worked beautifully together. I can see this becoming a regular treat meal for us.

glassbird's picture
5

This is fantastic! the pork was meltingly tender and full of flavour. In fact mine looked exactly as the photo and everyone was raving about it. I have to make it again!!

I served it with boiled potatoes and GoodFood warm roasted cauliflower salad - again a smash hit with our guests.

5* for sure

toastbongo's picture
5

ChefDom - thanks for that advice. I'm cooking it twice over the next few weeks so hopefully it'll work out!

kbuckler's picture

going to try this, Can someone tell me how much stock it is please

looocy1's picture
5

I did this a couple of weeks ago for 4 very hungry boys who are really into their food. I was nervous about it but it worked out so well, it was the best pork belly I have ever done and they were seriously impressed. I also served it with potato mash and added a couple of drops of truffle oil to it - the earthy flavour works really well with the pork and the mustard cabbage! This is definitely my go to pork belly recipe from now on!

chefdom's picture

Hey nic, This is often a problem for many and i dont feel the process if often explain properly in recipes. My advice is to place the belly pork into a cold pan and bring up to a very light sizzle. You are tring to render the fat from the pork, the fat will start to break down from as low as 60 deg C so go slow and gentle and ignore the 4min time scale. The browning process will naturally occure even at lower tempatures as sugars within the pork fat start to caramelize. If you feel the fat is still soft and it is colouring too quickly drop the temp down or allternatively start in a pan and finish in a hot oven. When i cook belly pork it is cooked sous vide at 62 deg C for 24hrs then pressed and pan roast to finish. Hope that helps a little

nicbow's picture
4

Forgot to rate....

nicbow's picture
4

Made this Monday night - the pork was amazing and so tender it you only needed a fork to 'cut' it! However the problem i had was with the 'crisp' crackling! It seemed to just burn rather than crisp up which was really annoying as this is my favourite part usually! I never have problems with crackling on roasts and followed the recipe exactly (oil wasnt too hot) yet along with getting hot fat spat all over me i ended up with black hard crackling...any tips please??

toastbongo's picture
5

No, I've now done it three times and have used scored pork twice - it doesn't make any difference that I've noticed apart from making it easier to cut!

timbr00's picture

I accidentally got the meat scored by the butcher will it still cook the same or do I need to make adjustments to the timing?

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Questions (2)

jazzdeol's picture

Can I freeze this recipe after the pork is pressed?... Planning on part cooking and the slicing it into portions before freezing... Will thaw in the fridge for a day before step 3.

LKG1985's picture

I want to cook this for two people. How long should I cook the pork for if I halve the recipe?

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