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Cook3 hrs 30 mins
I saw this on a BBC programme called Saturday Kitchen Live which is hosted by a great cook from Yorkshire, James Martin (does great food and easy on the eye :) ) Serve with creamy mashed potato. I didn't get a lot of pan juices and was unable to make a jus to go with this however the meat was wonderfully juicy and tender and the crackling was great. I also didn't have any fresh sage so used dried sage instead, didn't measure it just used common sense and it worked out great.
- 1 7⁄8 kg pork belly, skin scored with a sharp knife
- handful table salt
- 12 sage leaves
- 1 lemon
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 500 g bramley apples, peeled, cored, chopped
- 30 g butter
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons cider
- 30 g soft dark brown sugar (to taste)
- 20 g butter (for the pan juices)
- 2 tablespoons cider (for the pan juices) (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 250C, or as hot as you can get the oven.
- Score the skin diagonally both ways to create diamond shape grooves with a stanley knife, BE CAREFUL!
- Rub the table salt into the grooves that you have cut into the pork skin.
- Turn the meat over and place fresh sage leaves and three slices of lemon onto the meat, season with the pepper and roll up, tie the pork at intervals with string to ensure it doesn't unroll during cooking.
- Place the pork on a wire rack that fits over an empty roasting tin, and roast for half an hour.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 150C and roast for a further three hours.
- For the cider and apple sauce; put them into a pan with the butter, sugar, water and cider; cover and heat for 4-5 minutes, or until the apples are soft enough to beat to a purée. Keep warm.
- Remove the crackling (skin) and then cover the meat with foil and rest for about 15 minutes.
- Drain the fat from the roasting tin keeping the meat juices in the tin.
- Put the roasting tin with the meat juices in onto the hob and add a small cube of butter (20g) and a splash of cider (optional).
- Slice the pork, remember to remove the string, and serve with the apple sauce and a small drizzle of pan juices.