Cranberry and apple cider pork belly

Photographer: Emma
Serves 8-10

I have been waiting in anticipation for some time for another opportunity to try out my Pork Belly recipe, so what more perfect a place than a mid-winter dinner party!

The key to this relatively simple dish is time, the longer and slower you can cook the pork, the better the result. The flavours become more infused throughout the pork, all the while keeping the pork tender and moist. But of course where would pork belly be without crisp, crunchy crackling! Before turning up the heat to crisp up the top of the pork belly, I glazed the pork with a cranberry glaze to give it a delicious sweet sticky flavour. Leaving this step right to the end means the kitchen is filled with an inviting aroma as the guests are arriving. The warm tender pork belly was served on crispy duck fat roast potatoes with a cranberry and apple sauce and side of slaw, all complimenting each other to create a delectable feast.


Cranberry & Apple Sauce
1 cup fresh cranberries
2 apples, peeled and diced
½ cup cranberry juice
½ cup orange juice
½ cup brown sugar (add more for a sweeter tooth)
2 tsp orange zest

Cranberry Glaze
3 cups of cider
1 cups fresh cranberries
2 cloves garlic, diced
1tsp cinnamon
1 fresh chili, diced
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup apple cider vinegar
Pinch of salt

Pork Belly
1 large pork belly
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
Rock Salt
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 – 2 cups apple or pear cider


Cranberry & Apple Sauce
1. Peel and dice the apples and place in a saucepan with the cranberries.
2. Add the orange zest and brown sugar and stir.
3. Add the cranberry and orange juice and bring to the boil, making sure you stir regularly.
4. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until the cranberries burst and apples soften.

Cranberry glaze
1. Place all ingredients into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
2. Reduce the heat and simmer for 40 minutes or until the mixture begins to thicken, whisk the mixture occasionally.
3. Remove the glaze from the heat and strain through a sieve to remove the cranberry skins.
4. Refrigerate until required.

Pork belly
1. Pre-heat oven to 140ºC on Bake.
2. Score the skin of the pork belly in diagonal lines about 1 centimeter apart. Avoid cutting down into the meat.
3. Generously rub salt right into all the scores, then rub the diced garlic and oil across the top.
4. Place rosemary into the bottom of a roasting dish and place the pork belly on top, skin side up.
5. Pour cider around the pork until it covers the meat but not the fat.
6. Place the pork in the oven.
7. Cook the pork for 5-6 hours. After 1 – 2 hours of cooking, add more cider around the pork as it evaporates to help keep it moist.
8. After 5-6 hours of cooking, take the pork out of the oven and spread the glaze across the top of the pork.
9. Return the pork to the oven and grill on high for 20 – 30 minutes or until the skin starts to bubble.
10. Remove from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

Note: I have cooked the same recipe for 3-4 hours at 150ºC and it has worked well, it’s all about how much time you have available.