Middle of Pork, Apple Sauce

Middle of Pork, Apple Sauce

A forgotten cut of pork and definitely my favourite – middle of pork combines the tenderness of loin with the flavour of belly. The belly also bastes the loin whilst cooking to ensure it remains super moist and tender.

Get your butcher to leave just enough belly attached to the loin to ensure the skin wraps around fully but does not overlap – which will help achieve some great crackling.

This is a simple recipe for perfectly cooked pork middle with apple sauce. Great served with roasted root vegetables.

Middle of Pork, Apple Sauce
Serves 6-10

Ingredients:

For the Pork: 1 Half Middle of Pork (Rolled and tied as above and skin scored), Sea Salt, Cracked Black Pepper, Olive Oil, 1 Garlic Bulb (Halved), Handful Thyme Sprigs

For the Apple Sauce: 6 Cooking Apples (Peeled, Cored and Chopped), 25g Unsalted Butter, Caster Sugar, Zest 1/2 Lemon, Fresh Nutmeg

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 220c. Coat the outside of the pork middle with a thin layer of olive oil and season well with sea salt. Place on a roasting tray belly side down and transfer to the oven. Cook at 220c for 20 minutes. Turn the pork so the belly side is facing up and cook at 220c for a further 20 minutes. Turn the pork back to its original position and reduce the oven temperature to 160c. Cook the pork for a further 3-4 hours or until the belly is tender and the crackling is crisp (you may need to increase the oven temperature to 190c for the last hour of cooking to crisp the crackling). When ready, remove from the oven and allow to rest in the roasting tray for at least 30 minutes.

2) Meanwhile, make the apple sauce. Place the apple segments in a saucepan with the butter and add a small splash of water. Cover with a lid and stew the apples over a low heat until tender, stirring occasionally, for around 30 minutes or until the apples are cooked down. Transfer the apples to a blender and blend to a purée. Return the purée to the pan and add the lemon zest. Season to taste with sugar and freshly grated nutmeg. Set aside.

3) Slice the pork middle, season each slice with a little sea salt and black pepper and serve the pork with the apple purée. Great served with roasted root vegetables.

A Tasting of Pork

A Tasting of Pork

Devising a recipe for pork for a weekend supper left me with too many options – I wanted to cook the delicious, tender belly but could not compromise on succulent fillet or a little black pudding for extra richness.

In an attempt to create a tasting of pork, I have paired prosciutto and sage wrapped fillet with slow cooked belly, crisp black pudding, crackling, apple purée, carrot purée, mini fondant potatoes, beetroot crisps and diced apple. The apple cut through the richness of the pork belly and the earthy flavour of the beetroot and sage paired excellently with the spicy black pudding.

I give the recipe for the slow cooked pork belly (sous vide) and apple purée below – which would make for a great sunday lunch if accompanied by roast potatoes and gravy!

A Tasting of Pork

Slow Cooked Pork Belly, Apple Purée
Serves 4

Ingredients:
1kg Pork Belly (Bones Removed, Skin Removed for Crackling)
25g Unsalted Butter
2 Garlic Cloves (Bashed)
2 Thyme Sprigs
Small Handful Fresh Sage
1kg Granny Smith Apples
Juice 1/4 Lemon
Zest 1 Lemon
Nutmeg
50ml Water
Salt & Black Pepper

Method:

1) For the pork belly, season with salt and pepper and vacuum pack in a sous vide bag with the garlic, butter, thyme and sage. Cook in a water bath at 82C for 12 hours.

2) Meanwhile, make the apple purée: peel and core the apples and chop into medium sized pieces. Place in a large saucepan with the water. Bring the apples to a simmer over a medium heat, reduce the heat and cook the apples for around 1 hour or until no pieces remain and the mixture resembles a purée.

3) Pass the apples through a fine sieve. Season with a little salt and add the lemon juice and zest. Grate over a generous amount of nutmeg and stir the mixture to combine. Keep warm until ready to serve or chill and reheat.

4) Remove the pork from the vacuum bag and pat dry. Fry in a large frying pan over a high heat until the belly is nicely crisp. Cut into equal slices and serve with the apple purée.

Enjoy!

Pork Belly, Apple, Tomato

 

We have much to thank the humble pig for – Bacon, Sausages, Hams. The list is endless. But pork belly? Now that is something for which we should be truly thankful. That delicious, fatty hunk of porkiness is by far my favorite cut of meat.

Just give it enough time and don’t let it get too hot and you will have the most glorious supper. Better still, leftovers will keep you going for countless days and can be used in a multitude of dishes.

Pork and apples are best friends. Here I have paired roast belly with apple purée and some oven-dried tomatoes. A very simple dish which would be great for a lazy Sunday. I also made some quick thyme sauté potatoes to accompany.

 

Pork Belly, Apple, Tomato

Serves 4

Ingredients:

For the Pork: 1-1.5kg Boneless Pork Belly (Skin Removed), 4tbsp Olive Oil, 1 Sliced Lemon, Sea Salt, Black Pepper

For the Apple Purée: 6 Granny Smith Apples (Peeled, Cored and Chopped), 2tbsp Unsalted Butter, 3tbsp Water, 1/2tbsp Sugar, 1/2tsp Sea Salt, Squeeze of Lemon Juice

For the Tomatoes: 15 Cherry Tomatoes Halved, Sea Salt

Method:

1) Pre-heat oven to 180C. Season the pork belly generously and wrap in a double layer of foil with the sliced lemon and olive oil. Place in the bottom of the oven and roast for around 3 hours or until ready. To check if its ready, push a table knife through the middle of the belly – if there is no resistance it is ready.

2) Meanwhile, make the apple purée. Place the chopped apples in a pan with the butter, sugar, water, salt and a little squeeze of lemon. Cook covered over a low heat for around 1 hour until the apples have turned to a purée. Cook uncovered for a further 10 minutes to allow some of the water to evaporate (nothing worse than a runny purée!). Pass through a sieve and set to one side.

3) To prepare the tomatoes – place the halved tomatoes (cut side up) on a lightly oiled baking tray and sprinkle with sea salt. Place in the top of the oven with the pork and cook for around 20 minutes until slightly dried. Remove from the oven and set aside.

4) Once the pork is cooked, remove from the oven and unwrap. Cut into manageable portions. Fry these portions in a little olive oil if desired to form a crust.

5) Serve the pork with the warmed apple purée and tomatoes.

Great accompanied with sauté potatoes or a pea shoot salad.