- 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
The carrot, with its distinctive bright orange colour, is one of the most versatile root…
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- few celery sticks, roughly chopped
A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…
- 2 garlic cloves, smashed
- sprig fresh 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 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 is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…
- apple mash and Mustard cabbage, to serve (see tip)
Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Apple mashBring 2 large, peeled and chopped baking potatoes to the boil and simmer for 10 mins. Add 1 large peeled, cored and chopped Bramley apple and simmer for 5 mins. Drain and return to the pan through a potato ricer, or mash. Over a low heat, beat in 100ml/3½fl oz double cream and a knob of butter. Season and serve.
Mustard cabbageQuarter, core and finely shred 1 small Savoy cabbage. Cook in boiling water for 3 mins, then drain and refresh under cold water. Place cabbage in a pan with 3 tbsp double cream and 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard, and reheat. Season and serve.