1kg belly pork, skin scored
1 large onion, peeled and roughly sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 large carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks celery, rinsed and roughly chopped
2 pieces star anise
3 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
5 sprigs fresh thyme
Ground black pepper
Water, enough to nearly cover the pork
For the braised cabbage and apple:
1 red cabbage, outer leaves removed, quartered, cored and finely sliced
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
2 apples, peeled, cored, quartered and roughly diced
300ml red wine
50ml red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons demerara sugar
1 tablespoon of honey
Ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 120C.
Add all the vegetables and spices to a deep roasting tray, and place the belly pork on top. Pour in enough water to nearly cover the meat. Cover with foil and braise in the oven for 3-4 hours, until very tender and the meat comes away when pierced with a knife.
Once the pork is succulent and tender, remove to another tray and rub the skin with sea salt. Roast uncovered at 170C until the skin is nice and crispy.
Leave to cool a little and carve into big chunks.
Melt the butter in a large, deep pan over a medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Fry the onions and garlic until softened, and then add the finely sliced red cabbage. Add the sugar and honey and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes to caramelise the red cabbage. Add the red wine and the vinegar,turn the heat down so the liquid is at a gentle simmer and cover with a lid, stirring occasionally.
Cook for 45 minutes and then add the apple, replace the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes, again stirring occasionally to avoid the cabbage sticking to the pan. Now remove the lid and cook, stirring regularly for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid has reduced and thickened. The cabbage should have a soft, sticky consistency. Season with salt and pepper, and serve with big chunks of the succulent belly pork.
This is a very popular cut at the moment - we have left it on the bone, with a good layer of fat to keep the meat juicy, tasty and tender. Roast it...