May 19

Crispy Pork Belly with Cider Cream Sauce


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To date I only know how to roast a chicken and leg of lamb. My past attempts at roasting pork and beef have fallen into disaster. Over the past couple of years I have been doing a lot of reading and video watching on how best to go about this porky business. Of all the recipes I have chosen to try a Marco Pierre White version. Why? Coz it just seems like he knows what he’s doing and I don’t. My consolation would be if this works out well then I will have another dish to feature at my next lunch party. The hardest bit would be the sauce, me thinks (I am writing this article as the pork is cooking in the oven).



To start, get yourself a nice slab of pork belly. Marco highly recommended that the slab come with the rib bones insitu, but all the ones I came across already had them removed. If you are going to cook it the next day, then keep the meat in the fridge lightly covered in butcher’s paper and not in plastic. I also kept mine elevated off the paper on a roasting rack. Basically, the meat should be kept nice and dry at all times, especially the skin.



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Using a sharp SHARP knife, score the skin in half inch wide strips. WATCH YOUR FINGERS!! I made the mistake of talking to R., debating the best way to score the pork, when I sliced my finger. Some videos recommend using a clean boxcutter for this job coz the skin can be really tough; much tougher than I had imagined.



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Once you have done the entire slab of meat, smear a little olive oil on top. Rub the oil into the crevices, followed by a generous amount of sea salt. The salt will help draw out extra moisture from the skin and make it crisp up. Then palce it in the biggest skillet you have and brown off the skin a little. Cold pan, mind. Then place the meat in, skin side down and allow everything to come up to temp together, rendering out some of the fat. While the skin is browning, salt the meat side generously.



10 mins later transfer to the oven and cook at 230°C for 20 mins. Then lower the heat to 160°C and roast for a further 3 hrs; a nice slow roast to bring out all the yummy flavours. Marco roasted the meat in a dry pan, but I used a roasting rack and filled the bottom with a mixture of apple juice + water just to allow me to get some stock to make the gravy later. Just before times up, switch to the broiler and really crisp up that pork rind … about 20 mins.



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Remove the pork and rest it  while you make the sauce … which I am sure I completely botched. Haha.

Marco’s recipe involved apple cider, apple juice and cream, all in equal quantities. To give the sauce extra oomph at the end he also added a splash of calvados and pork stock granules, neither of which I had so I used chicken stock granules.


The cider goes into a hot pan first, then left to cook off the alcohol and to concentrate the flavours. Then add all the apple juice. Again allow it to reduce to a syrup. Finally add the cream and the granules.


I wasn’t impressed with the sauce after that. I wish I had made my green apple & mustard gravy, but I managed to salvage this sauce by adding some dry thyme. Along with some wonderful roasted potatoes, I served the pork with my Beet & Chickpea Salad.



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The pork was (thankfully) a huge success. The skin was wondrously crispy with a perfect amount of saltiness. The meat was moist and tender. If there is still a substantial amount of fat under the skin, then simply lift off the crispy bits, remove the fat, slice the meat into serving portions and replace pieces of crackling onto each plate.





  • Slab of pork belly
  • olive oil
  • course sea salt




  • 1/2 cup cider
  • 1/2 cup apple juice
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup pork stock or some pork stock granules
  • Pinch of dry thyme.




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This has been the first time I made pork roast, so I do believe there is much room for improvement. I think cooking a roast has a lot to do with confidence; confidence to know how to handle the meat correctly and knowing your temperatures and cooking times. Regardless, I am very happy with how tonight’s dinner turned out. And as a bonus, the pork went deliciously with my beet root + chickpea salad! Wheeeee….!



So do try it out … I mean, hey, if I can do it I am sure you will be just as successful. With this I bid you all happy cooking and goodluck.




~ Enjoy! ~





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