Cider-roasted pork belly

  This is the best goddamned thing I’ve ever cooked. I’m serious. And my recipe is idiot-proof. As tested on my nearest idiot. You can’t go wrong.

Ingredients

1 piece of pork belly (doesn’t matter what size, enough to feed your hoarde)
1 750mL bottle of apple cider
Salt
Olive oil

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 160C.

1. Pat the skin dry with paper towel. If it’s got petruding hairs, either blowtorch them or shave them off. Yes, that is a thing.

2. Score the skin with a sharp knife – a medium-sized one, so that you have enough control over it. Score across-ways, at 1cm intervals. This will ensure you have good sized crackling pieces and make it easier to cut into portions later. Try not to cut down into the flesh, as this will dry it out while cooking. You’re essentially aiming to cut down to the fat only.

3. Rub the skin with salt. I haven’t put an amount in the ingredients, because I haven’t a clue how much. What you want is enough salt to help dry the skin out, but not so much that the crackling will later be a salt-lick instead. You want it nicely seasoned. Some say you should leave the pork in the fridge at this stage for a few hours, or even overnight, to ensure good crackling. This may be true, but you also run the risk of drying out the meat as well. I say go straight to the next step.

4. Put a splash of olive oil in a roasting tray (or pyrex dish, as I have). Place the pork belly in, flesh side down.

5. Pour in the cider up to the top of the flesh, where the thick layer of fat starts. If the liquid is covering the fat, it may not render as well. Of course, I have never tried it any other way, so I have no idea.

6. Put in the oven and bugger off for four hours. Read a book. Catch up on Twitter. Spend time with your child. Write a blog post about your latest cooking adventure. Have a wank. Whatever you prefer. Just ensure you can check back on your pork belly occasionally to ensure it hasn’t caught fire.

7. Also ensure the cider hasn’t dried out. It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t stay level with the fat, but the flesh may dry out if it evaporates completely. If it gets low, just pour more in (this means I wouldn’t recommend drinking the leftovers until AFTER the pork has cooked).

8. After four hours, you will notice the skin and fat on the top have not yet turned to crackling. “WHYYYYYY?!”, you cry! Because the temperature of the oven is not yet hot enough. This is the time to crank it up to 11! I mean, 240C.

9. At this point, I highly recommend you hang around like a mother with a newborn to ensure the crackling doesn’t burn. Why a mother would be putting her newborn in an oven, I have no idea, but someone should report her to the authorities. Anyway, I recommend putting a timer on for 5-10 minutes, and checking the crackling by tapping it with a fork.

10. Once the skin has become delightfully crisp and the meat looks cooked (one should hope so, after 4 freakin’ hours), take the pork belly out to let it rest on top of the stove for 10 minutes (I’m assuming you have a all-in-one stove thing like I have. If stove top and oven are separate, you’re dead to me). Once the meat has rested, use the scoring as a guide and cut the belly into 4cm strips.

11. Most importantly, drink the rest of the cider. If there isn’t any left, then you are a very silly person.

If you’re so inclined, you can do as I did and serve it with duck-fat potatoes, sauerkraut and gravy made with good ol’ Gravox and some of the pan juices.

  

If you’re after something green as well, I highly recommend brussel sprouts cooked in butter.

I also reserved the pan juices in a container and put it in the fridge. Once the fat has solidified, scrape it off and you’re left with cider and pork jus. Ohhhhhhh, yeeaaaaah. *Homer Simpson-esque drool*

This is my own, original, recipe. Reproduce without permission and I’ll fuckin’ cut ya!

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14 Responses to Cider-roasted pork belly

  1. Bron says:

    Where’s my invite to dinner?!

    No, really, this looks so damn awesome. This is the reason I couldn’t finish my conversion to Judaism. God I love pigs!

  2. Dave says:

    Awesome recipe. Beat the hell put of the restaurant down the road.
    I served it with mash with caremelised onions and roasted garlic( mashed in)
    Thanks for the ideas. Most times simplicity does it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Ben says:

    Great recipe, made it with a small piece of belly, jus enough for two. Was so succulent and tasty. And if you are wondering, no I didn’t have a wank whilst it was cooking!

  4. Food arch says:

    Like you style

  5. susie power says:

    Lying in bed, 8.30am Easter Sunday, planning the dinner. Definately gonna follow ur reciepe. Specially the part that advises a wank.

  6. Trish Langford-Brown says:

    Loooove your style of recipe. Cooking is and should be fun.Cook with love and humour.
    Oh yes and the pork was to DIE for.
    Trish

  7. Tim Greene says:

    Best recipe for pork ever, simple, alcoholic and includes a masturbation break. Perfect

  8. Angie says:

    So I had cider braised pork belly at a restaurant on Sunday and wanted to try it at home. Here I am googling the recipe, and come across this delight!
    I haven’t actually cooked it yet, I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed reading the method!
    Excellent tip on waiting to see if you need extra cider.
    Added tip: buy a six pack, just to be safe!

    Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Glenn says:

    Great recipe

  10. Jill says:

    Oh.My.God. Made this last night and we gave up all pretence at having leftovers. Best pork dish ever. Smashed a few fennel seeds and sprinkled over the top to tie in with a fennel and apple salad. Can’t wait until next weekend to do it all over again.

  11. Toni says:

    Have never cooked pork belly before but hit up Google and found your recipe; it’s was absolutely beautiful and a bit hit in our household; not to mention funny reading your methods;
    Thanks for sharing

  12. Paige says:

    Holey guacamoley, this is the easiest, best roast pork belly recipe I have ever tried! Tried it the first time and it came out perfect, pork so juicy and tender, crackling wonderfully crunchy and almost just dissolves in your mouth! I did add crushed fennel seed in the salt rub on the rind and put some thickly sliced fennel bulb and onions under the belly and they added an extra level of deliciousness, and came out beautifully caramelized – so yummy! So, I thought this is way too perfect so it must be a first time fluke!! I tried it again a week later and voila!!! Perfectly cooked belly and crackling – AGAIN!! I love this recipe, it is the best ever and I can’t wait to try it again!

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