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Slow Braised Honey and Cider Caramelised Pork Belly - Serves 4

Slow Braised Honey and Cider Caramelised Pork Belly

Instead of onions you can use large shallots or fennel.

Jean-Christophe Novelli A tip from
Jean-Christophe

This recipe melts in your mouth. It is made from a mixture of herbs and spices and flavoured with a good quality cider, which gives it a lovely apple taste. Serve this with caramelised onion mashed potato.

Method

1. In a frying pan, dry-fry the onions until caramelised.

2. Heat an ovenproof cast-iron pan. Season the pork belly and dry-fry on both sides, fat side first, until golden brown, ensuring that all sides of the meat are sealed. Remove from the pan and set aside to rest for 3–5 minutes. (Most of the fat should have been released during this stage.)

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas 4. Transfer the pork to a baking tray and cover with cling film. Place a heavy chopping board on top and press down hard. (This allows for a neater presentation when it is cooked.)

4. Remove the cling film. Lay the onions on the pork fat residue in the ovenproof pan and cover with the pork belly.

5. In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the braising liquor. Pour over the pork belly and cook in the preheated oven for 11/2 hours.

6. Remove from the oven, lift the meat out of the pan to rest for 10 minutes and set aside. With a slotted spoon, remove the onions and add to the olive oil mash. Reduce the remaining liquor to the consistency of a sauce.

7. Serve the pork hot with the olive oil mash and sauce.

Ingredients

  • 2 large white onions, peeled, halved and sliced
  • 1.5kg pork belly, with rind removed but the fat left on (ask your local or supermarket butcher to prepare)
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 quantity olive oil mash

Braising liquor

  • 1 litre good-quality dry cider (do not use sweet cider)
  • 150ml runny honey
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 4 whole sprigs fresh thyme
  • sea salt

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours