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JuicyChef’s Crackling Pork Belly & Apples

Chef's Note:

“Crunchy crackling, succulent meat, this is one of those dishes in appearance that celebrity chef “Dave Chang” coins as ugly delicious but tastes damn good! It’s more about technique and taste. I’m from apple territory in the UK, and this dish is a fusion of my British and Jamaican roots. If you cannot access cider, mix some apple juice and white wine. If you are not feeling for jerk pork or Christmas ham, pork belly is a delicious alternative if you wish to have a pork dish on your table. This dish must be prepped overnight” – JuicyChef xo


  • Serves: Many

Ingredients

1 3kg pork belly, ask butcher to score skin
2 to 3 tbsps kosher salt
Seasoning
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp sea salt
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed with mortar and pestle
1 tbsp pimento seeds, crushed with mortar and pestle
4 dried bay leaves, crumbled
Assemblage
A few carrots
A few onions
A few celery stalks
8 Granny Smith apples, washed and left whole
500ml/ 2 cups Apple Cider
Bacon rashers, 1 per person
String beans, 6-8 beans per person

Method

1. Season the flesh side of the pork belly with seasoning ingredients and then flip over.
2. Add kosher (or coarse) salt to pork belly skin, make sure you rub the skin all over, place on a rack over a baking sheet and place in the fridge uncovered overnight to cure and salt the skin.
3. The next day, rub off as much salt as you can from the skin and pat the skin as dry as you can. Make sure there is no moisture on the skin as this aids the crackling.
4. Preheat your oven to 450F.
5. In a deep baking tray, add carrots, onions, celery to form a bed and place the pork on top and roast for roughly 45 minutes for the crackling to begin to develop. 
6. Turn down oven to 300F, pour in apple cider to the baking dish and cover lightly with foil if the skin gets too dark, continue cooking pork for about 2 and ½ hours.
7. Add whole apples to the baking tray and cook for another half hour until apples begin to slightly collapse and the meat is nice and tender.
8. During the last part of the pork cooking, fry some bacon rashers until half cooked and steam some green beans.
9. Wrap about 8 green beans with a rasher of bacon each and secure with a cocktail pick. Once all beans are wrapped, place in the oven for the last 10 minutes of the pork cooking.
10. To serve, slice some pork and serve with some veggies, an apple, a bacon wrapped bundle of green beans, the pan juice and other side dishes present on your festive table