Perfect pork belly with apple sauce


The mouthwatering aroma of golden brown pork roasting in the oven is a sure sign of a cracklin’ good meal.

By Sonja Jordt • Assistant: Johané van Schalkwyk • Photographs: Christo Lötter

home June 2011

Serve this favourite with roast potatoes and a simple green salad, or steamed green vegetables such as beans.

Makes: 4-6 portions

Preparation time: 15 minutes (plus overnight)

Oven temperature: 140°C

Cooking time: 3 hours

• 1kg pork belly

• salt

• 30ml coarsely ground coriander and fennel seeds

• 3 bay leaves

• 4-6 large garlic cloves

• a few sprigs of sage

Apple Sauce

• 4-6 apples, depending on size

• 60-125ml caster sugar

• 30-45ml butter

• 15ml fresh lemon juice

1 Preheat the oven. Score the fat layer with a sharp knife (see roasting tips) and rub with salt and spices, especially in the incisions. If possible, refrigerate the uncovered meat overnight after this to ensure a crisp, golden brown layer of crackling. Then place the bay leaves, garlic and sage in a roasting dish in the oven with the pork on a rack above. Add water to a depth of about 1cm to the roasting dish and roast the meat for 3 hours without covering or basting it.

2 Make the apple sauce - Peel, core and quarter the apples, then place them in about 125ml water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover and simmer until the apples are soft, then break them up slightly and stir in the caster sugar, butter and lemon juice. You can also add a dash of ground cinnamon if you like.

3 After 3 hours, turn the temperature up to 220°C and roast the pork for another 20-30 minutes or until the crackling is crisp. Then remove from the oven and allow to stand for 15 minutes before carving.

TiP It’s not necessary to score perfect, narrow incisions beforehand – thick strips of crackling are just as delicious.

Pork belly with apple sauce

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