Perfect roast pork belly with cabbage and bacon

Perfect roast pork belly with cabbage and bacon

James Martin’s twice-cooked pork belly comes with bacon-flecked greens and a fluffy apple sauce.


For the pork belly
  • 2kg/4lb 4oz boneless pork belly, skin scored
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stick, cut into four pieces
  • 4 sprigs flatleaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 star anise
  • 1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
  • 110g/4oz butter
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 110ml/4fl oz red wine
  • 250ml/9fl oz beef stock
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the sautéed cabbage and bacon
  • 50g/2oz butter
  • 4 slices smoked streaky bacon, finely sliced
  • 1 green cabbage, preferably Hispie, finely shredded
  • 150g/5oz Brussels sprouts, finely sliced
  • 75ml/3fl oz water
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh chervil
For the apple sauce
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • 1 large Bramley apple, peeled, roughly chopped

Preparation method

  1. For the pork belly, place the pork belly, onion, carrot, celery, parsley, thyme, star anise and cinnamon sticks into a large saucepan. Cover with cold water until the pork is just covered.

  2. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for two hours.

  3. Remove the pork belly from the mixture and place between two heavy baking trays. Chill in the fridge for at least two hours.

  4. Preheat the oven to 225C/450F/Gas 8.

  5. Remove the pork from the fridge and cut into four squares.

  6. Heat an ovenproof frying pan until hot, add half of the butter and the pork belly pieces, skin-side down. Fry for 2-3 minutes.

  7. Carefully turn the pork belly pieces over and pour over the honey. Roast the pork belly in the oven for 10-12 minutes, or until the pork skin is crisp.

  8. Meanwhile, bring the red wine and beef stock to the boil in a saucepan and cook until the volume of the liquid has reduced by half. Whisk in the remaining butter and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  9. Meanwhile for the sautéed cabbage and bacon, heat the butter in a frying pan until foaming and fry the bacon until crisp and golden-brown. Add the cabbage and Brussels sprouts and stir-fry for a further minute. Add the water and cook for a further 4-5 minutes, or until the cabbage is just tender.

  10. Stir in the chervil and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  11. For the apple sauce, heat the butter and Bramley apples in a lidded saucepan over a gentle heat. Cover and cook for 2-4 minutes, or until the apples have collapsed and are soft and fluffy. Stir the mixture to form a smooth purée.

  12. To serve, spoon the sautéed cabbage onto serving plates and top with a piece of pork belly.

  13. Spoon over the red wine sauce and serve the apple sauce alongside.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen Best Bites

Less than 30 mins preparation time

Over 2 hours cooking time

Serves 4

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