You can use a shoulder or leg joint of pork but I prefer to use pork belly for this recipe. I don’t eat pork very often at all but if I do, this is one of my favourite ways of cooking it. It is so succulent, has a perfect crispy topping, packed with delicious aroma and melts in your mouth.
SLOW-COOKED SPICED PORK BELLY WITH APPLE AND FENNEL
(Ross Dobson’s recipe)
1kg pork belly
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
2 teaspoons caraway seeds
4 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 apples, cut into thick wedges
2 fennels bulbs, with feathery tops intact, cut into thick wedges
Salt and pepper
1. Combine the fennel and caraway seeds, garlic and 1 tablespoon of salt in a mortar and pound with a pestle. Stir in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
2. Cut 1/2cm deep incisions, spaced 1-2cm apart, across the skin of the pork. Rub the spice mixture into the incisions and let sit for 1 hour at cool room temperature.
3. Preheat the oven to 140C.
4. Put the pork in a large roasting tin and cook in the preheated oven for 3 hours in total. (You will need to remove the tin from the oven 30 minutes before the end of the cooking time to add the apples and fennel.)
5. Put the remaining oil in a bowl and season with a little salt and pepper. Add the chopped apples and the fennel bulbs with feathery tops to the bowl and, using your hands, toss until evenly coated in oil. Thirty minutes before the end of the cooking time, remove the pork from the oven and arrange the apples and fennel in the tin. Increase the heat to 220C and return the tin to the oven.
6. Remove the pork from the oven, cover loosely with foil and let rest for about 20 minutes. Carve into slices and serve with the roasted apples and fennel on the side.