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Slow roast belly of pork with spiced apple and cider sauce

Creamy mashed potatoes is the finishing touch to this classic pork main.

Ingredients

For the pork
For the mashed potato
For the apple and cider sauce

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8.

  2. For the pork belly, score the skin of the pork belly with a sharp knife at 1cm/½in intervals. Season the flesh side with salt and freshly ground black pepper and lay over 6 of the sage leaves. Spread the grated apple over, then roll up the belly and secure with kitchen string.

  3. Layer the chopped onions in the bottom of a roasting tray. Chop the remaining sage leaves and sprinkle over the onions, pour in the cider and place the rolled pork belly on top, seam side down.

  4. Roast for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 150C/300F/Gas 2 and roast for a further 3 hours, or until the pork belly is tender and the skin is golden-brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

  5. For the mashed potatoes, place the potatoes into a large pan of cold salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and return to the pan.

  6. Cover the pan with a lid and shake vigorously to break up the potatoes, then add the cream and butter and mash with a potato masher or fork. Season to taste with salt, freshly ground black pepper and nutmeg.

  7. For the sauce, place the apple chunks into a non-reactive pan with the butter, 2 tbsp water, cider, nutmeg, cinnamon and black pepper. Cover the pan and cook over a medium heat for 10-12 minutes, or until the apples are tender.

  8. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and blend to a smooth purée. Add the soft brown sugar, to taste.

  9. To serve, remove the kitchen string from the pork and slice thickly. Serve with the mashed potatoes and apple cider sauce on the side.

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