Apple and Sage Pork belly

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Apple and Sage Pork Belly

I get a craving for pork belly and then I pop off to my butcher (Weyer’s Country Meats) or Woolworths to find the meatiest pork belly I can find. Over the years I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks on how to make a good pork belly. Here is one recipe that I refer back to countless times now that I have all my tips and tricks written down. My pork belly is a winner every time. Follow my tips and you are sure to have success every time too. On a personal note, my apologies must go to you Caroline V. I’m sorry I took so long to get this one posted, here it is, please let me know how yours turns out.

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Tip number 1 

Remove packaging from pork belly, sprinkle with salt lay on a rack in a dish and leave in fridge over night to dry out. This gives a better crackling 

Tip 2 

Bring to room temperature before cooking any meat. If you cook meat cold from the fridge it tends to be tough. Once it comes to room temperature, pour boiling water over the pork belly. Pat dry. This puffs up the fat and opens the slits which makes it easier to rub the salt and thyme into. It also makes for a better crispy crackling

Tip 3 

Start with a very hot oven 240°C for 30 min then turn down to 180°C (160°C fan ) for 1 hour. 

Tip 4 (Optional) for very fatty pork belly

When I first started making pork belly I really didn’t like the thick layers of fat in between the layers of meat. A Portuguese lady, Linda told me she puts weights on her pork belly when she cooks hers. Her pork belly was the only one I had ever tasted that didn’t seem to have glutinous fat in it. I decided the next time I cooked pork belly I would cover a brick in tin foil and use that as my weight. It works, but I don’t always use this technique. I am sharing it here with you because you may just be that person who has been put off by the fatty layers of fat. Give it a try.

Tip 5

If you happen to have leftover strips of pork belly, wrap them up and freeze them. Use them in your next sticky pork stir fry. Cut them into bite size chunks and fry in soy sauce, honey and lemon. Thats a recipe for another day, but you get the idea.

Tip 6 – Prepare ahead

If you don’t feel like all this fuss on one day, prepare the pork belly up to stage where is has cooked on the trivet for 1h 30 min. Cool and freeze until you are ready to use it for a big family get together. Remember to defrost and get it to room temperature before finishing off the rest of the steps.

Apple and Sage Pork belly

Servings 6
Prep Time 2 d

Ingredients

  • 1.752 kg pork belly Get the best you can find ( I really like the "Kinder to Sows" brand from Woolworths or my local butcher, Weyers have a great quality too.
  • 6 sprigs of thyme remove leaves and add 1-2 Tsp salt.
  • 3-4 sticks celery cut in half for trivet

Pan Roast

  • 1 big onion cut into slices 5mm thick
  • 3 apples peeled, cored and sliced about 5mm thick
  • 4-5 garlic cloves smashed
  • 15 g fresh sage leaves

Sauce

  • pot juices remove excess fat
  • 1 bottle cider 330ml
  • 2 tsp flour
Course: Dinner

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