Poached and fried pork belly with pickled cauliflower

This recipe for poached and fried pork belly gets terrific flavour from the pork. The richness is offset by the pickles.


For the pickled cauliflower
  • 200ml/7fl oz white wine vinegar
  • 75g/3oz caster sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 small cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 20 small shallots, peeled
  • 20 pea pods
For the pork belly
  • 500g/1lb 2oz boneless pork belly
  • 1 onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 4 sprigs flatleaf parsley
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 3 star anise
  • 50g/2oz butter

Preparation method

  1. For the pickled cauliflower, heat the white wine vinegar, sugar, salt and peppercorns in a pan over a medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.

  2. Place the cauliflower and shallots into a bowl and pour over the hot vinegar. Mix together, coating the cauliflower and shallots with the vinegar.

  3. Set aside to pickle, ideally for at least an hour, preferably 24 hours.

  4. For the pork belly, place the pork belly, onion, carrot, parsley, thyme and star anise into a large saucepan.

  5. Fill the pan with cold water, so the pork is covered.

  6. Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 45 minutes.

  7. Remove from the heat and place the pork belly between two heavy baking trays and place in the fridge for at least two hours to cool and set.

  8. Cut the pork belly into 1cm/½in thick slices.

  9. Heat a frying pan until hot, add a knob of the butter and pork and cook for two minutes on each side. Repeat in batches, adding fresh butter for each batch.

  10. Just before serving, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the peas and cook for two minutes until just tender then drain.

  11. Open up the pea pods, but do not pop the peas out. Add the peas in pods to the pickled vegetables and mix to combine.

  12. To serve, place the slices of pork belly on the plate, then spoon the pickled cauliflower, shallots and peas alongside.

James Martin recipes from Saturday Kitchen

Overnight preparation time

30 mins to 1 hour cooking time

Serves 4

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