IMG_1501This Sunday morning, me and my husband went to see one of our friends in the Queens Park area. She took us to a local farmers’ market. It was Sunday, we had time and I was in mood to eat some meat. So I decided to pick up some pork belly. Even though I love eating pork, I had never cooked pork before.

‘Slow-cooked’, ‘pork’ and ‘apples’ is what I had in mind. So, after searching for some techniques online, this is what I came up with.




400 gms pork belly joint
3 large garlic cloves
1 large onion
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
1/2 tsp of dried sage
1/2 tsp of crushed peppercorns
1/2 tsp of dried thyme

For the apple sauce:
200 gms Bramley apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks
1/2 red chilli, de-seeded and finely chopped (you can replace this by 1/4tsp of red chilli powder)
Zest and juice of half a lemon
20 gms caster sugar
15 gms butter


  1. Place the whole pork belly on a board and pat the rind dry with kitchen paper. Make sure that there is no moisture.
  2. Score the skin with a sharp knife in straight lines.
  3. Mix the thyme, sage, salt and pepper and rub the rind with the salt and pepper and rub this seasoning mixture into the pork rind and the underside of the pork skin.
  4. Preheat the oven to 130°C.
  5. Chop the onion in quarters and separate each layer and place them on a baking tin.
  6. Add garlic cloves and add fresh sage leaves to the baking tin.
  7. Place the pork belly on top of the onions, garlic and sage leaves.
  8. Add some boiling water to the baking tin – just enough to cover half of the onions. Keep the water topped up throughout.
  9. Let it cook for 3 hours.
  10. Then increase the temperature to 240°C and cook for 25min. Then turn the grill on and grill for the last 5 min on the highest setting. Keep checking that the it doesn’t burn. If you see parts of it burn, then put a little piece of foil on top to stop it from burning further.
  11. Once ready leave it to rest for 20 min.
  12. Meanwhile, put the apples, chilli and lemon zest and juice in a pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the apple is soft.
  13. Add the sugar and butter.
  14. Cook on a low heat for another 5 minutes, stirring often, until pulpy. Serve with the pork.
  15. You can blanche some green beans to serve with the pork and apple sauce.
Slow cooked pork belly with apple sauce