For the pork
- 1 tbsp coriander seeds
The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…
- 2 star anise
Star anise is one of the central spices in Chinese cooking. It has a strong anise flavour, with…
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- ½ a whole pork belly, about 1½ kg (ask for the thin half), boned, skin left on but not scored
- handful thyme
This popular herb grows in Europe, especially the Mediterranean, and is a member of the mint…
- handful rosemary
Rosemary's intense, fragrant aroma has traditionally been paired with lamb, chicken and game…
- 2 x 350g jars goose fat (or use lard, sunflower or vegetable oil)
- 6 curly parsley sprigs
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
For the onion & apple veloute
- 25g butter
Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…
- 4 onion, finely chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 2 Granny Smith apple, cored and sliced
Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…
- 250ml chicken stock
- 142ml tub double cream
For the carrots
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With a pestle and mortar, crush the coriander seeds with the star anise, then stir through the salt. Season the pork on both sides with the salt mix. Place the pork, skin side up, in an ovenproof dish that is just large enough to hold it. Scatter over the herbs, then leave overnight if you have time - see tip, below.
Heat oven to 150C/fan 130C/gas 2. Empty the goose fat into a saucepan and heat until liquid and starting to simmer. Ladle the fat over the pork; add sunflower oil to cover if you need to. Cover the dish with foil, then cook the pork in the oven, undisturbed, for 3 hrs by which time it will be very tender.
Remove the dish from the oven and leave it to settle for 10 mins. Meanwhile, line a tray with a piece of greaseproof paper. Carefully lift the pork from the fat and pick off any herbs. Lay it on the paper, skin side down. Cut another piece of paper and lay it over the pork. Cover with a tray, weighed down with a couple of cans, and leave in fridge overnight - see tip, below.
When you are ready to cook the pork, heat oven to 220C/ fan 200C/ gas 7. Remove pork from the tray, then peel away paper. Lightly score the skin into neat diamonds with a sharp knife and trim the edges so you get a perfect rectangle.
To cook the pork, heat a drizzle of oil in a large non-stick ovenproof pan. Lay the pork, skin side down, and leave for a few mins to crackle, then place the pan in the oven and cook for 20 mins. Remove from the oven and check to see that the skin has blistered, then carefully flip it over and cook the underside for 3 mins just to heat through. Lift to a board.
While the pork is roasting, make the velouté. Heat the butter in a frying pan. Cook the onions and apples for 8-10 mins until soft, but not coloured. Pour in the stock and simmer for 8 mins until the apples start to collapse. Stir in the cream, then simmer everything for 2 mins more. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully tip into a blender, blitz until as smooth as possible, then tip into a saucepan so it’s ready to be reheated.
Boil the carrots for 2 mins in salted water, then drain well. Heat the olive oil, then fry the carrots with seasoning for 5 mins, tossing occasionally until starting to brown. Gently reheat the velouté. You're now ready to plate up.
Use a sharp knife to carve the pork into long slices about 2cm thick. Lay 2 or 3 slices on each plate, slightly overlapping. Put 3 or 4 carrots on each plate, lying all in the same direction as the pork. Spoon a puddle of velouté over the end of the carrots. Garnish with a sprig of parsley.
Try it with duck
To prepare a classic confit of duck, follow the same method using duck legs instead of the pork and only poach them in the fat for 2 hrs until the meat is very tender. To serve, crisp them up in the oven in exactly the same way.
The longer you leave the pork salted before cooking, the more flavour it will have. If you can, salt the pork the night before poaching and leave it in the fridge, but wipe off all the salt and brine that comes off the pork before cooking or it will be too salty.
This method of slow cooking in fat is known as ‘confit’ and although you start by cooking in lots of fat, you actually render the fat out of the meat so that the finished dish is a lot leaner than simply roasting. The leftover fat will keep in the fridge for up to 1 month or can be frozen for 6 months ready to make the recipe again. The fat is delicious when used for roasting and frying.
This recipe is designed to be prepared ahead so that in the restaurants we can put it together in minutes when a dish comes on order. The pork can be poached in the fat, pressed, then kept in the fridge for up to 3 days or frozen for a month. The carrots can be boiled and drained the day before, ready to be coloured in the pan, and the onion velouté can be completely made ahead the day before ready to be reheated on the day.