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The Life Kitchen: Slow-roast pork belly with gorgonzola and apple cabbage

Although it needs three hours slow roasting, the beauty of this cut of pork is that it looks after itself. As the fat melts it bastes the meat, leaving the joint so soft it carves with a spoon.


* 1kg (21/4lb) belly of pork, skin scored

* sea salt and pepper

* vegetable oil

* 20 shallots, peeled

* 300ml (1/2 pint) chicken stock

* a pinch of demerara sugar

* 1 small cabbage, quartered, cored and shredded

* 25g (1oz) butter

* 2 apples, grated

* 100g (4oz) room-temperature gorgonzola, broken into pieces

Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/gas 3.

Season the meat side of the pork belly and place, skin-side up, on a wire rack over a roasting tray. Brush with oil, sprinkle with sea salt and roast for three hours before removing and leaving to rest.

Finely slice four of the shallots, placing the rest in a saucepan with the stock and sugar. Simmer the shallots until soft and the cooking liquor has reduced leaving a nice shiny glaze. Meanwhile, boil the cabbage in salted water for a few minutes until tender.

Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the sliced shallots and cook until they begin to soften. Add the apple, before stirring in the cabbage and seasoning. The gorgonzola can now be stirred in, melting as it warms.

Cut the crackling from the belly, snapping it into large pieces. Carve the pork in thick slices, dividing it between plates with a spoonful of the cabbage and the shallots.

Taken from 'Gary Rhodes 365' (Penguin/Michael Joseph, £25)