Roast pork belly with caramelised apples

The sticky sweetness of these apples is a perfect accompaniment to luscious rich pork belly.

  • 2 hrs cooking
  • Serves 8
  • Print


Roast pork belly with caramelised apples
  • 21/4 kilogram piece boneless pork belly
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoon coarse cooking salt
Caramelised apples
  • 1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup (125ml) calvados (apple brandy)
  • 20 gram butter
  • 4 small (440g) apples, peeled, halved, cored
Cider sauce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 (75g) french shallots, sliced thinly
  • 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 3 cup (750ml) dry apple cider
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 50 gram chilled butter, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Roast pork belly with caramelised apples
  • 1
    Preheat the oven to 140°C (120°C fan-forced). Using a small sharp knife (or a Stanley knife), score the pork rind.
  • 2
    Place garlic and thyme in the base of a medium baking dish. Season the pork flesh with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place pork, rind-side up, on garlic mixture. Add enough boiling water to the baking dish to almost cover pork (try not to cover rind). Place a sheet of baking paper over pork. Cover dish tightly with foil, ensuring it is completely sealed. Roast for 4 hours (the pork should be starting to fall apart).
  • 3
    Remove pork from the baking dish; discard liquid. Cool pork to room temperature, keeping it covered with baking paper and foil (refrigerate overnight, if desired).
  • 4
    Preheat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced). Cut pork into 8 equal pieces. Place pork on a baking-paper lined oven tray. Rub the rind with oil and coarse cooking salt. Roast for about 30 minutes or until the rind is crisp and browned.
  • 5
    Place sugar in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring, until sugar turns a dark caramel colour. Add calvados and flambe; (be very careful, this will flame). Simmer, uncovered, for about 1 minute, then add butter and apples; stir to coat the apples in butter mixture. Cook, covered loosely, for about 8-10 minutes, turning apples occasionally until just tender.
  • 6
    Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots, garlic and thyme for about 3-4 minutes or until tender. Add cider and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Add stock cube; simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Return cider to the pan over low heat. Gradually whisk in butter (piece by piece) until shiny and thickened slightly. Stir in parsley.

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