Our lovely Catering & Hospitality Consultant Diana Cheal has kindly given us her time to provide us all with 12 wonderful recipe to help inspire our Christmas menu choices. Each day leading up to Christmas we will provide each and everyone of them here!
We hope you enjoy!
On the twelfth day of Christmas Diana Cheal gave to us:
Cider roasted pork belly with apple jam
This is a recent recipe that I cooked for a dinner party, and was amazing and so easy to do. It tasted delicious, and it was served with Boulangere potatoes and then lots of fresh greens. The basic recipe is taken from Leiths How To Cook, and very slightly adapted. It is very easy to follow and to cook. Would highly recommend it as a family dish and could even be used as an alternative to turkey if so inclined. If not, this is going to become a firm Sunday roast favourite!
1.2 kg boneless pork belly (get the butcher to bone if for you, as so much easier)
½ tbsp. olive oil
½ bunch of parsley
½ bunch of sage
½ bunch of thyme
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 Granny smith apple (or Bramley apple, depending on how sour you want)
450ml dry cider
- Check the pork belly for any small bones and remove (the butcher should have removed them all). Score the skin (I tend to do it in a criss cross pattern, but stripes also work).
- Heat the oven to 250oC/GM 10.
- Finely chop the parsley, sage and thyme, and finely zest the lemon. Mix the herbs and zest with the fennel seeds, season well with salt and pepper and pat onto the non-skin sides of the belly.
- Rub the olive oil over the skin and sprinkle wit rock salt (Maldon is amazing), rubbing the salt into the scoring, which will help with the crackling. I tend to leave it at room temperature for about half an hour, which really gets the skin to dry out.
- Place the pork belly in a roasting tin and roast for 60-75 minutes to allow the skin to start to crackle, taking care that it doesn’t burn. If it is over done, then turn it down earlier. Meanwhile, peel, core and quarter the apple.
- When the crackling has started to appear (but not totally done), lower the oven to 150oC/GM 2. Carefully remove the pork belly, pour off the fat and juices and place the apple pieces in the roasting tin. Put the belly back on top of the apple and then pour half the cider into the roasting tin and return to the oven for a further 1 hour.
- Lower the oven setting to 120oC/GM ½ , add the remaining cider and cook for a final hour. Don’t let the cider dry out, and if needs be add some water.
- When the pork is cooked, a fork will slide easily in and out. Move the pork to a carving board and let it rest for 10 minutes. If the crackling isn’t entirely done, then remove it from the pork and put it under the grill under it crisps up.
- In the original recipe, it says make gravy. I have found, however, that the sauce the pork is cooked in is delicious and the alcohol has cooked off, so it’s just an apple “jus”. Make sure that the flavouring is right and add salt and pepper if needs be. Once you have carved the pork belly, then drizzle the apple “jus” over the top.
- This is amazing served with apple sauce, or even apple jam. Apple jam is made by making a caramel and then adding the apple dice to it with a vanilla pod. It is then best served chilled or at room temperature alongside the pork. It gives it a sweet complement to the pork.