Ingredients to serve 6

Crush the first five ingredients in a pestle and mortar to make a smooth paste, then add the mustard. Score the skin and underside of the pork belly, and trim the excess fat and sinew. Rub the paste all over. Rub the skin side with salt. Leave to stand for 30 minutes, then wipe off the liquid and any excess salt. Arrange the onions in a roasting tray, cut-side down, with the pork on top, skin-side up.

Preheat the oven to 240C. Pour 1cm water in the roasting tray and place in the oven. Cook for 40-45 minutes. When the pork skin is crispy and bubbly, turn the oven down to 150C and cook for another 30-45 minutes. Top up the water, if necessary, but try to open up the oven as little as possible. Remove from the oven and leave to rest, uncovered.

Cut the quartered apples into slices. In a large, hot frying pan, melt the butter and add the apples. Sprinkle over the sugar. Cook the apples so they are coloured on both sides. Deglaze the pan with a squeeze of lemon, a little cider, beer, wine, water or stock, to create a sauce.

On a carving board, slice the pork into fingers, and place in a warm serving dish. Pour off any fat from the roasting tray, leaving the onions, cooked-on bits and liquid. Over a high heat, deglaze with sherry, white wine, cider or beer. Simmer, then strain into a jug.

Serve the pork with a drizzle of gravy and a few spoonfuls of the caramelized apple sauce.

Half a teaspoon fine sea salt
Half a teaspoon fennel or dill seed
5 juniper berries
8 white or black peppercorns
One teaspoon wholegrain mustard
Half good, organic, free range, fatty pork belly, about 900g
3 onions, cut in half
Sherry, white wine, cider or beer for the gravy
4 apples, peeled, quartered and tossed in
lemon juice
75g butter
3 tablespoons golden caster sugar
A little lemon juice, cider, cider vinegar, white wine, beer, water or stock

Sommelier's choice

Neudorf Moutere Riesling 2007, Nelson, New Zealand

The Wine Society, £14.95

A delightful riesling made in a medium-dry style, as gentle and light as a fine German wine. The racy acidity acts as a foil to the fat, and its touch of sweetness melds with the apple sauce. www.thewinesociety.com

From the Grown in Britain Cookbook, ed Donna Air (Dorling Kindersley, £16.99)

Comments