There are many ways of preparing pork belly. This delicious recipe, based on one from Delia Smith’s Christmas Cookbook, is perfect for cooler days. It is full of flavour and marries pork, apple and sage beautifully.
1T lard, or oil
±1kg belly of pork, cut into thick slices
250g smoked, streaky bacon
1 large onion, peeled and sliced into thick rings
3 medium Cox’s or Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and cut into thick rings
3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
18 juniper berries, gently crushed
18 sage leaves
1 x bottle (±220ml) dry cider
1/4 cup cider vinegar
- Preheat oven to 140°C.
- Season the pork slices with salt and pepper on sides.
- In a large, flameproof casserole heat the lard to smoking hot. Brown the pork slices on both sides, taking care not to overcrowd the pan. Remove to a plate.
- Brown the bacon, remove from the pan and set aside.
- Add the onions and fry, taking care not to burn.
- Return the pork to the casserole, on top of the onions, then add the garlic, juniper berries, bacon, sage and lastly, apples.
- Add the apple cider and vinegar. Bring to boil on top of the stove, cover with tinfoil and a tight fitting lid, place in the preheated oven. Bake for 3 to 4 hours, or until tender.
- Serve with mashed potatoes and braised red cabbage.
All pork, lamb and beef, used in our recipes come from the Wickedfood Earth farm. Our animals are all raised completely naturally, in a free-range environment, without the use of routine antibiotics and growth hormones or stimulants. Due to these natural farming practises, our animals take on average twice as long to reach maturity. This means that the muscles of the animals get to work, which ensures added flavour. It does also however mean that the meat quite often benefits from being cooked at lower temperatures for longer periods.
Wickedfood Earth encompasses:
- A working farm – Our vegetable gardens are planted with a wide variety of naturally grown produce, we have an extensive fruit and berry orchard, and a wide variety of animals including pigs, indigenous sheep and cattle.
- A Country Cooking School, the commercial arm, offering cooking classes for both individuals and corporate groups, which ensures that the project is sustainable; and
- A community upliftment training project, where we are giving back to local communities in the form of skills training, from permaculture farming practises, through to cooking and processing. All products produced on the farm, and during training, are available for sale to clients at the Country Cooking School and Wickedfood Earth online market.