Slow Cooked Pork Belly with Braised Red Cabbage
- 2 tbsp fennel seeds
- 1 tsp black peppercorns
- 1 small bunch thyme , leaves only
- 3 garlic cloves
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1.5-2kg/3lb 5oz-4lb 8oz piece boneless pork belly, skin scored
- 2 lemons
- 3 large white onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 50g butter
- 50ml extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 3 large Bramley apples, cored and cut into chunks
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 large red cabbage, cored and sliced
- 90g light brown sugar
- 100ml balsamic vinegar
- 2 handfuls of cranberries
Toast the fennel seeds and peppercorns in a dry frying pan for a couple of minutes. Pound them together in a pestle and mortar with some flaked sea salt, the thyme and garlic to make a paste.
Mix with 2 tablespoons olive oil and rub all over the flesh of the pork. Cover and chill, leaving to marinate for a few hours or overnight.
When ready to cook, rub the skin of the joint with plenty of salt and 1 tablespoon more of olive oil. Sit on a wire rack in a roasting tin, pour a little water in to cover the bottom of the tin, and roast at 160°C/gas mark 3 for 3 hours.
After this time, if the crackling needs it, turn the heat up to 180°C/gas mark 4 and give it a final blast for another 30 minutes or so.
Allow to rest somewhere warm for 20 minutes. Carve up into chunks or slices.
For the cabbage, take a large saucepan and sweat the onion down in the butter and olive oil. At this point season with salt & pepper but don’t allow to colour.
Throw in the sliced Bramley apples and rosemary, stir around to break the apple down. Now add the sliced red cabbage. This will almost certainly fill the whole pan but don’t panic. After a few minutes of vigorously stirring, the quantity will start to reduce.
Cover the pan with a heavy lid to stop the steam from escaping and turn the heat down low. The cabbage will now take anywhere between 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Check every now and then, and give it a stir. Add the brown sugar, balsamic vinegar and cranberries for the last 5- 10 minutes and cover again. Don’t let the cabbage stick and burn: if it starts to, then add a splash of water.
Recipe courtesy of Matt Tebbutt