Slow Cooked Pork BellyBake

Preparation: 15 mins Cooking time: 600 mins Serves: 4 - 6
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Recipe courtesy of Simon Wright, The French Cafe.


Slow Cooked Pork Belly

  • 1kg pork belly
  • 1 tbsp five spice powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • Olive oil

Cauliflower Puree

  • 1 cauliflower
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 50g butter
  • 500ml milk
  • 100ml cream

Cider Syrup

  • 400ml cider
  • 200ml clear apple juice


  • 3 large pickling onions
  • 10 large brussel sprouts
  • 100g black pudding
  • 200ml pork jus


Pork Belly

  1. Pre heat the oven to 100°C.
  2. Place the pork belly fat side down on a tray and rub the meat with five spice, salt and pepper.
  3. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Line the bottom of a roasting tray with baking paper and add the pork belly, fat side down.
  5. Add the garlic and enough olive oil to just cover the pork.
  6. Cover the pork with another piece of baking paper, then cover the roasting tray with tin foil.
  7. Place in the oven for about 10 hours or until a skewer easily goes through the meat without any resistance.
  8. Allow the pork belly to cool in the oil then lift onto a tray lined with baking paper, top the pork with another piece of baking paper, place a tray on top of the pork and wrap tightly in plastic wrap.
  9. Place the tray in the refrigerator with about 4kg of weight on top and allow to press overnight.
  10. Pre heat the oven to 230°C.
  11. Unwrap the pork and place on a chopping board. Trim the sides to create an even shape and then cut the pork down the centre then into 4 or 6 rectangles.
  12. Heat a little olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan, add the pork fat side down and place in the oven for 8 minutes or until the fat goes crispy.

Cauliflower Puree

  1. Chop the cauliflower into small pieces. In a heavy based saucepan, sweat the onion in the butter with a little salt until soft.
  2. Add the cauliflower and continue to cook for a few minutes without colour.
  3. Add the milk and cream, bring to a simmer and cook until the cauliflower is soft.
  4. Drain the cauliflower reserving the liquor and puree in a liquidizer using some of the reserved liquor to obtain a smooth consistency.

Cider Syrup

  1. Place the cider and apple juice in a saucepan. Reduce to a syrup consistency over a high heat.
  2. Remove from the saucepan and allow to cool.


  1. Bring a pot of salted water to the boil.  Trim the roots of the pickling onions with a sharp knife.
  2. Add the onions to the pot of boiling water and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Drain the onions and refresh in iced water.
  4. Cut the onions in half, heat a little olive oil in a heavy based frying pan and add the onions cut side down and cook slowly until nicely caramelized.
  5. Add 1 tablespoon butter, remove from the heat and keep warm.
  6. Trim the roots of the brussel sprouts and peel away the leaves to the centre.
  7. Remove the skin from the black pudding and chop the pudding into small pieces.  Heat a small amount of olive oil in a frying pan, add the pudding and fry till crispy.
  8. Drain onto absorbent paper and keep warm.

Serving suggestion

  1. Heat the cauliflower puree.
  2. Blanch the sprout leaves for two minutes in salted boiling water, drain and toss in butter.
  3. Heat the pork jus.
  4. Spoon some of the cauliflower puree down the centre of a plate and sprinkle with black pudding crumbs.
  5. Place a piece of pork to one side, put an onion half on the puree and scatter with sprout leaves.
  6. Pour some pork jus onto the plate and spoon a little of the cider syrup over the pork.