by Marcus Leach
There is nothing more satisfying than cooking a great meal for your friends and family, which is why you must give this recipe from Adam Byatt a try now that the summer months are drawing to a close.
Whole Roast Pork Belly with English Braeburn Apples and Polenta
- 1 x 2.5kg whole pork belly (bones and skin intact)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 English Braeburn apples
- olive oil
- 50g caster sugar
- 1 bunch rosemary
- 2 litres white Chicken Stock
- 180g butter
- 500g quick-cook white polenta
1. Remove some of the excess fat from the pork, leaving the bones intact. Score the skin well with a sharp knife, then cover it liberally with sea salt. Leave to stand for 2 hours to draw out the excess moisture.
2. Using a sharp knife, cut each apple in half horizontally and score the flesh on the cut side. Leave the apples to air-dry uncovered for 2 hours – this will help them caramelize more effectively.
3. For the polenta, pick the leaves from the rosemary and chop finely.
4. Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C fan/gas 7.
1. Place the salted pork on a wire rack in a roasting tray and roast for 35 minutes.
2. Once you are happy that the crackling is coming along nicely, lower the oven temperature to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4 and roast the pork for a further hour.
3. Remove the pork from the oven and allow to rest for 30-40 minutes – this is imperative for the meat to be moist and tender.
4. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan until hot, splash in some olive oil and place the apples scored-side down in the pan. Cook over a high heat until the scored side is caramelized well, then sprinkle the sugar over the apples and allow it to brown (this should take a maximum of 2 minutes). Remove the pan from the heat and leave the apples to rest in the sugar until ready to serve.
5. Cook the polenta. Bring the stock and 100g of the butter to a rapid boil in a large saucepan. Add the polenta, reduce the heat to low and season with salt and pepper, then stir continually until the polenta is cooked (the packet will give guidance times, but I find it can take up to 20 minutes). You should aim for a finished polenta that is like porridge in consistency. Remove from the heat, add the remaining butter and the chopped rosemary and keep hot until serving time.
6. Serve the pork with the apples and polenta.
Images copyright to Adam Byatt and Trinity Restaurant