Crisp cider-braised pork belly

Crisp cider-braised pork belly

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(11 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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timbr00
17th Mar, 2011
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?
toastbongo
11th Mar, 2011
5.05
Absolutely delicous! I was a little worried after taking the pork out of the braising pot as it looked a little horrid, but the final product was fantastic and definitely worth the time and effort!
c27858's picture
c27858
31st Jan, 2011
4.05
This is a lovely recipe, the pork was delicious, but I did have problems getting the crackling crisp. Any suggestions? I was thinking of removing it and crisping it separately on day 2

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