Wrapped up together in a soft white bread roll, this is about as close to lunchtime nirvana as you can put in your mouth. You can roast the pork specifically for this recipe or use cold leftovers.
I like to add pickled red cabbage to the rolls. I think pork, apple and cabbage are a trio made in heaven.
- 1.2 kg piece skin-on boneless pork belly
- 2 tsp fennel seeds, toasted
- olive oil, for rubbing
- 1 brown onion, thinly sliced
- 2 apples, cored and each cut into 12 wedges
- 250 ml (1 cup) cider
- 100 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ red cabbage (about 200 g), finely shredded
- 6 soft white bread rolls
- butter and Dijon mustard, for spreading
- 1 baby cos, broken up into individual leaves
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.
Resting time: 15 minutes
Remove the pork from the fridge and bring it up to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 220˚C.
Pat the skin of the pork dry and use a sharp knife to score it. Rub the toasted seeds into the cuts with some oil and a little salt. Lay the onion and apple in a deep-sided roasting tray evenly over the base. Pour in the cider and lay the pork on top.
Roast for 30 minutes – the skin will have started to crackle by this stage. Reduce the heat to 180˚C and roast for 1½–2 hours or until the pork is tender and the crackling is ready. Remove the pork from the oven and let it rest, covered for 15–30 minutes.
While the pork is cooking, heat the vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan until the liquid boils and the salt and sugar dissolves. Place the shredded cabbage in a heatproof mixing bowl and pour the hot vinegar over it. Stir everything together and place to one side until ready to serve.
To serve, thinly slice the pork. Butter the buns and spread some Dijon mustard onto each. Onto each bread roll, place a few cos leaves, some pickled cabbage, some of the roasted apple and onion and two thick slices of the pork belly. Spoon over some of the pan juices and enjoy.
Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Tiffany Louise Page. Creative concept by Belinda So.