Crispy Pork With Cider Jus

This cider-braised pork belly is pure heaven on a plate – the poaching step is all about making the meat as moist and succulent as possible while frying it up on the day ensures the skin is crisp to perfection! Reducing the cider broth to a delicate jus works wonders to bring all the rich and earthy flavours together. It takes a bit of planning to get started the day before, but each step is super easy and the end result is truly Michelin star quality!

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

1 brown onion, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 celery stalks, chopped
2 garlic cloves, smashed
4 sprig fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
500ml good-quality cider
1l fresh chicken stock
1-1.5kg piece unscored boneless pork
Vegetable oil

Instructions

(the day before)

1. Heat the oven to 160C. Place onion, carrots, celery, garlic, bay leaves, and thyme in an ovenproof casserole. Cover with stock, cider and bring to the boil. Slide the pork into the liquid making sure it’s totally submerged, cover with a lid, and place in the oven for 3 hours.

2. Once cooked leave the pork to cool for a bit in the stock. Strain the cooking liquid into a jug cover and place it in the fridge to chill.

(on the day)

3. Pour the braising juices (now jelly) into a saucepan and reduce down by two-thirds until thicker and syrupy.

4. Place pork on a clean board, skin-side upwards. Get a sharp knife and trim off any uneven edges so that you have a neat sheet of meat and cut into equal pieces. Heat oil in a large frying pan and reduce to medium heat. Sizzle the pork skin side down for 5 mins until the skin is perfectly crispy and flip it over for another couple of minutes until warm and browned all over.

Serve with carrots, cauliflower mash, mustard cabbage, or any other earthy/wintery sides and drizzle the jus next to the pork on the plate.

Definitely give this dish a go for your next dinner party, pork belly is a very affordable cut of meat too, so no need to spend a fortune to impress!


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