Roast Pork Belly with Roast Apple Sauce, Sweet Parsnips and Mustard Cabbage

This meal looks fancy, but doesn’t actually require that many ingredients! Pork belly, a boneless cut of fatty meat, is relatively cheap, and it’s always a crowd pleaser! My trick is to always set a timer (using my phone) to make sure I get all the food ready at the same time.

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Ingredients – Serves 4
For the pork, and the apple sauce

Pork belly – 1kg
1/2 tsp salt, pepper
1 tbsp. butter

2 onions
3 apples, peeled
2 cloves garlic
1 cup beef or chicken stock

For the sides:

½ red cabbage
2 tbsp butter
1 generous tbsp. grainy mustard
Salt and Pepper

1 parsnip per person
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp. Olive oil

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 160°C. If your pork hasn’t been scored, use a sharp knife to score the fat in a criss-cross pattern. Season generously with salt and pepper.

Roughly chop the onions, garlic and apples.

Heat the butter in a frying pan (one that is large enough to fit the pork in one piece). Once hot, lay the pork fat-side down and fry for 5 minutes until crisp and dark golden. Remove the pork from the pan and lay in a large roasting dish. In the same frying pan, quickly sauté the chopped onions and apples. Pour in the stock and stir well to get the good bits out of the pan. Add this vegetable mix to the roasting pan, ensuring that some of the liquid gets underneath the pork. Place in the oven for two hours, checking once or twice to stir the liquid and spoon over the meat.

Peel and quarter the parsnips lengthwise, and place into a roasting dish. Combine the honey, oil and vinegar, then coat the parsnips with the mixture. When there is an hour left for the pork, place parsnips in the oven.

When there are 15 minutes remaining, bring a pot of water to the boil. Thinly slice the cabbage and boil for 3 minutes. In a frying pan, melt the butter. Drain the water from the cabbage, then sauté it in the frying pan. Stir through the grainy mustard.

To make the roasted apple sauce; once the time is up for the pork, pour all the juices, the cooked apples and onions into a blender. Blend until smooth. Gently slice the pork into even pieces.

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To serve: Spread a large dollop of the apple sauce off-centre on a plate. Lay a slice of pork on top. Spoon the cabbage alongside it, then lay the roasted parsnips next to the cabbage.

A gourmet meal to impress your friends!