Slow-Roasted Belly of Pork with Magners Cider and Caramelized Quince Recipe

Pork Belly
Flickr/wordridden

Ingredients

For the pork:

  • 2 ½ pounds (1 ½ kilograms) deboned pork belly
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt, preferably Maldon
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
  • About 1 ½-¾ cups (400 milliliters) hard cider, preferably Magners or Bulmers Irish Apple Cider 
  • 2 cups (500 milliliters) beef stock
  • 1 bouquet garni (2 sprigs fresh thyme and 3 parsley stems wrapped in cheesecloth)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the quince:

  • 2 quinces
  • 3 tablespoons (45 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons hard cider (see above)

Pork belly is an extremely fatty cut of meat. Cooking the belly slowly allows the fat to render down; this rendered fat then helps to baste the meat.

Turning up the oven towards the latter stages of cooking results in a crisp skin, not dissimilar to that of cracklings, or skin, on a pork roast.

While Wade Murphy, executive head chef at The Lodge at Doonbeg in County Clare, Ireland, likes to serve this roasted pork with caramelized quince, you could also serve the pork with baby potatoes, roasted with lots of butter and parsley, and Savoy cabbage, sliced thinly and sautéed with spring onions and small pieces of diced apple.

Directions

For the pork:

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit/230 degrees Celsius.

Using a very sharp knife, score the skin of the pork at 5 millimeter intervals. Take care not to cut all the way through the fat to the meat. Boil a kettle full of water (about 10 cups) and pour it over the skin. Throw away the water and pat the pork dry. This will help the skin crisp up during the cooking. Rub the pork with the canola oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place the vegetables in a roasting dish and put the pork on top, skin side up. Pour the cider and stock around the meat. Add the bouquet garni, bay leaf, and cloves. Season with salt and pepper. Roast the pork in the center of your oven for 20 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp. Reduce the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit/140 degrees Celsius and cook for another 2 ½ hours. If the meat begins to get too brown, cover it with foil to prevent it from getting any darker in the last 45 minutes.

Remove the pork from the oven, transfer it to a plate, and leave in a warm place to rest. Strain the contents of the roasting dish through a fine sieve and place in a pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat and reduce the liquid, skimming all the time, until the sauce thickens and becomes syrupy, about 8-10 minutes.

For the quince:

Peel the quince and cut in half. Cut each half then into 3 slices and remove the cores. Melt the butter and the sugar in a large heavy-bottomed pan over medium heat. Place the quince in the pan and pour over the water and cider. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and cook very slowly for 1 ½ hours. Occasionally stir the mixture to make sure it is not burning. Cook the quince until it is very soft but still holds its shape.

Remove the lid from the pan and increase the heat for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. The quince will caramelize and all the liquid will evaporate. Keep the quince mixture warm.

To serve, carve the meat into thick slices and place on a serving dish. Pour over the reduced sauce and serve with the caramelized quince.

Nutrition

Calories per serving:

1,775 calories

Dietary restrictions:

Low Carb Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Egg Free, Peanut Free, Tree Nut Free, Soy Free, Fish Free, Shellfish Free, Alcohol Free

Daily value:

89%

Servings:

4
  • Fat 667g 1,027%
  • Carbs 158g 53%
  • Saturated 245g 1,224%
  • Fiber 14g 58%
  • Trans 2g
  • Sugars 68g
  • Monounsaturated 308g
  • Polyunsaturated 74g
  • Protein 120g 241%
  • Cholesterol 913mg 304%
  • Sodium 2,993mg 125%
  • Calcium 291mg 29%
  • Magnesium 166mg 41%
  • Potassium 4,750mg 136%
  • Iron 12mg 68%
  • Zinc 13mg 88%
  • Phosphorus 1,556mg 222%
  • Vitamin A 878µg 98%
  • Vitamin C 93mg 156%
  • Thiamin (B1) 5mg 328%
  • Riboflavin (B2) 3mg 206%
  • Niacin (B3) 59mg 295%
  • Vitamin B6 2mg 114%
  • Folic Acid (B9) 88µg 22%
  • Vitamin B12 10µg 160%
  • Vitamin D 1µg 0%
  • Vitamin E 11mg 55%
  • Vitamin K 45µg 56%
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