The pork belly develops an incredibly crisp skin as it slow roasts in a spiced marinade that keeps the meat moist and juicy.
- 800–900 g piece boneless pork belly, rind on
- 1 tsp flaked sea salt
- 1½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, peeled and cut into 6 wedges
- 12 garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
- 40 g ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 whole star anise
- 3 fresh bay leaves
- 90 ml soy sauce
- 250 ml (1 cup) chicken stock
- 250 ml (1 cup) unsweetened cloudy apple juice
- 70 ml apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp caster sugar
- 1 tsp black peppercorns, crushed
- 3 medium Pink Lady apples (about 400 g), cored and cut into quarters
- 2 spring onions, thinly sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Standing time: 45 minutes
- Preheat the oven to 185°C. Use a small, sharp knife to score the skin of the pork in a cross-hatch pattern, spaced roughly 1½ cm apart. Rub the salt into the skin, pushing it down into the slashes.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onion for 3–4 minutes or until starting to soften. Add the garlic, ginger, star anise and bay leaves and cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3–4 minutes or until the vegetables are lightly coloured. Add the soy sauce, stock, apple juice, vinegar, sugar and black peppercorns. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
- Pour the soy sauce mixture into a baking dish. Lay the pork in the dish, skin-side up, taking care not to get the skin wet (it should not at any stage be submerged in liquid). Transfer to the oven and roast for 1¼ hours.
- Remove the dish from the oven and arrange the apples around the pork, stirring gently to coat them in the sauce and again taking care not to get any liquid on the skin. Return to the oven and roast for 20 minutes or until the apples have softened but still retain their shape, and the pork is deeply golden and tender. Gently lift the pork out of the dish and set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes.
- To serve, cut the pork into 1½ cm-thick slices. Transfer the contents of the baking dish to a deep serving dish. Lay the pork slices on top and sprinkle with the spring onions.
Adam Liaw cooks, laughs, and explores culture with some of Australia's most beloved in The Cook Up With Adam Liaw.