Pork belly makes for such an indulgent, comforting meal. Perfect to have during the colder months of the year with good wine, made even better with good company.

Salty crackling and tender meat is excellently complemented by this sweet (but not too sweet) cider gravy. We recommend serving with mustard mash and blanched tenderstem broccoli. This recipe is adapted from a Hairy Bikers’ recipe.

Serves 4

1.5 kg pork belly, scored

3 tsp sea salt

2 tsp ground black pepper, plus extra to season

2 large apples, peeled, cored & cut into thick slices

2 medium onions, sliced

1tbsp dried sage leaves

2 tsp plain flour

200 ml cider

  1. Turn the oven on to 240°C/475°F/gas mark 9. In a bowl, mix the dried sage with the salt and pepper. Get your pork and place it onto a board then pat the rind dry with kitchen roll to ensure it isn’t damp. Rub the seasoning into all over the pork.

  1. Place the pork in a roasting tin and roast for 25-30 minutes (this gives the rind a chance to bubble and become crisp). Turn the oven down to 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 and continue roasting for another hour.

  1. Meanwhile, combine the apples and onions, season with black pepper. When the pork has had its time, remove and strain the juices from the tray into a jug. Add the apples and onions to the roasting tray in a neat, compact pile and place the pork on top. Transfer back to the oven and cook for another hour until the meat is succulent and the crackling is hard.

  1. When ready, remove tray from oven. Let the pork rest but keep this warm whilst you make the cider gravy using the apple mixture

  1. Add the apple mixture and juices into a saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour, cook for a minute or so – stirring constantly. Then gradually add the cider and bring to a simmer. Strain through a sieve into a smaller saucepan, season to taste.

  1. Cut the pork into thick slices. Recommended to serve with mustard mash and tenderstem broccoli and gravy.

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