Pork belly with apple sauce

If you’re a fan of crackling, you’ve come to the right spot. In recent years pork belly has gained the favour of chefs worldwide and is now something of a staple on pub menus in the UK.  It’s a relatively cheap cut and, with a little love and time, can be transformed into something mouth-wateringly tender. Oh, and the crackling is sublime.

Ingredients (serves 6)

1 Tbsp fennel seeds
1 tsp five spice powder
1 cinnamon quill
½ cup sea salt
1.2 – 1.5kg pork belly, skin scored

For the apple sauce

2/3 cup caster sugar
2 cups water
6 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
½ lemon, juiced


1. Place fennel seeds, five spice powder and cinnamon into a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a powder. Rub all over the pork meat. Rub the salt over the scored skin and refrigerate overnight – this will dry out the skin out for the perfect crackle. Before cooking, pat the skin dry with paper towel.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
3. Place the pork on a roasting rack over a roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the base of your pan, cover with foil and roast for 45 minutes, then reduce the heat to 180°C, remove foil and cook for a further hour.

4. Grill for the last 5 minutes to crisp the crackling.
5. Remove the pork from the oven, cover loosely with foil and rest.
6. To make the apple sauce, heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add apple and cook, stirring, until softened. Drain and blend. Stir in the lemon juice and serve warm with the roast pork.

A winner for a cold Winter’s day.

Download print-friendly recipe.