Meltingly tender pork with crispy crackling is taken to the next level with the addition of a cheat's apple, onion, cider and thyme gravy.
Best served with simple sides like steamed greens and a potato or kumara mash, this pork makes a great Sunday roast or weeknight treat meal.
- 1 - 1.5kg pork belly
- 2 small apples
- 2 small onions
- 1/2 bulb of garlic
- Thyme sprigs
- Maldon or Kosher salt
- 330ml bottle of apple cider
- Preheat oven to 220°C fan bake.
- Pat the pork belly dry with a paper towel, score the skin with a sharp knife and salt generously with a flakey or kosher sea salt (table salt will also work if needed).
- Chop apples and onions in to wedges and scatter on the base of a metal roasting dish, add whole cloves of garlic and thyme sprigs (no need to skin or core the apples, onion and garlic).
- Place the pork belly skin side up on top of the apple and onions, and place in the oven for 20-30 minutes, or until the skin has puffed and crackled.
- Remove dish from oven (the apple, onion and garlic will look slightly overdone, which is ok) and carefully pour the apple cider over the apple and onion, around the pork, taking care not to wet the skin, until it almost covers the meat, but doesn’t touch the crackling layer.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 150°C, place the pork back in, and roast for an additional 30-40 minutes until the pork is cooked through or has reached an internal temp of 63°C.
- Remove the pork from the dish and set aside to rest.
- Place a sieve over a small pot or bowl and pour over the cider, apple, onions, garlic, thyme and cider, pushing through any soft caramelised flesh with a spoon.
- Discard the large chunks of solids, then you should be left with a delicious apple gravy in your bowl or pot that can be served as-is over the pork or can be simmered over a medium heat until reduced and thickened. Make sure you taste-test the sauce and season to suit with salt and pepper.
- Serve the pork with steamed vegetables and a kumara or potato mash, and a generous pour of the apple gravy.