- 2kg pork belly, ribs intact, skin scored
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda
Bicarbonate of soda, or baking soda, is an alkali which is used to raise soda breads and full-…
- 2 tsp coriander seeds
The small, creamy brown seeds of the coriander plant give dishes a warm, aromatic and slightly…
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp sea salt
- ½ lemon
Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
- 1 fennel bulb, cut into thick slices (reserve the fronds for our peach panzanella, if you like)
Like Marmite, fennel is something that you either love or hate - its strong aniseed flavour…
- 2 onions, peeled and cut into thick slices
Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
- 1 apple, halved
Grown in temperate regions, apples are one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits. There are…
- 250ml cloudy apple juice
- 250ml sherry or dry vermouth (such as Noilly Prat)
Bring a large pan of water, big enough to fit the pork belly in, to the boil. Add the bicarb and poach the pork on a gentle simmer for 5 mins.
Meanwhile, put the coriander seeds and chilli flakes in a small frying pan and toast over a medium heat until the seeds are aromatic, being careful not to burn the chilli.
Carefully lift the pork out of the pan using two slotted spoons and put in a roasting tin, skin-side down. Pat dry with kitchen towel and pierce the meat all over with a knife. Grind the toasted spices with the salt using a pestle and mortar, then cover the meat with half the spiced salt. Turn the pork over and pat the skin dry with kitchen paper, pressing down to make sure it’s dry . Squeeze the lemon juice all over the skin, then rub the lemon, flesh-side down, over it. Pat dry again and rub the remaining salt mixture over, making sure it gets into the grooves. Chill, uncovered, for 1 hr, or as long as possible (up to 24 hours).
Bring the pork out of the fridge 30 mins before you want to cook it and heat oven to 240C/220C fan/ gas 9. Nestle the fennel and onion underneath the meat. Roast for 40 mins, turning the roasting tin halfway so that it cooks evenly. Turn the oven down to 160C/140C fan/ gas 3, add the apple, apple juice and sherry to the tin and cook for 1 hr. Turn the oven up to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7 and roast for a further 10-15 mins until the crackling is crisp. Remove from the oven and rest for at least 15 mins, keeping the juices and apple, onion and fennel warm in a low oven. Flip the pork over and use a very sharp knife to cut it up into chunks, in line with the rib bones. Spoon over the juices.