About this recipe:You've heard this one before I can hear you groan! Yes, pork belly has been done to death. But in my opinion it's a fantastic, if not better, alternative to the usual Sunday roast and at £3.99 per kg it can't be ignored - it's the perfect comfort food to comfort us during recession. The twice cooking method does take some time (overnight) and it will need attention but the results are truly amazing.
You will need a pan large enough to take the belly pork in one single layer and so the water covers the pork. Fill the pan with cold water, eight peppercorns and three bay leaves - you will need to weight the pork down so it stays submerged. Bring up to the simmer and remove the impurities that rise to the top, simmer for around 2 hours (remembering to keep topping up the water!). When the pork is ready it will take a knife through the thickest part with very little resistance. Do not throw away the liquid as you can use the lovely stock created to make a gravy.
Once the pork is cooked remove from the pan and let it cool right down. Once cooled wrap in cling film and place a dish and a good weight on top of the pork and place in the fridge overnight. I find a good heavy stone mortar works perfectly; if you don't have one then six cans of beans will work just fine!
When you're ready to start cooking the next day get the pork out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to cook it so it gets up to room temperature.
For the sweet apple red cabbage dish, peel and core the apples and finely slice. Also finely slice the red onion and half of the red cabbage. Now get a saucepan on a medium heat with some olive oil and add the apples and onions - sauté for 3 minutes before adding the finely sliced red cabbage. Season and add a good pinch of brown sugar and red wine vinegar and cook for a further 5 minutes until the cabbage softens a little.
The pork belly just needs seasoning with salt and black pepper, then place on a wire rack and cook at 220C for 25 minutes. I find it easier to cut the pork belly into portions before placing in the oven. Once out the oven you will have a lovely crisp crackling and the meat will be very tender inside.
This sounds interesting. Not sure if the pork belly would have the bones in it or not. Is it easy to bone yourself? When I ordered a piece from the butchers and asked him to bone it, thinking it was a "cheap joint" I was surprised how much it cost. - 16 Jan 2010