Slow-cooked five-spice pork belly with three-cheese polenta

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
over 2 hours

Serves
Serves 4

By Andi Oliver
  • 2 onions, thickly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ¼ star anise
  • 10 whole green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 500g/1lb 2oz pork belly, skin removed and reserved
  • 200ml/7fl oz cider
  • knob of butter
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

For the polenta

  • 500ml/18fl oz chicken stock
  • 400g/14oz quick-cook cornmeal
  • 75g/2½oz mature Cheddar, grated
  • 75g/2½oz blue cheese (such as Stilton or gorgonzola), crumbled
  • 75g/2½oz Emmental, grated
  • 75g/2½oz unsalted butter, cut into cubes

For the braised fennel

  • 200g/7oz butter
  • 4 fennel bulbs, thinly sliced

For the fennel crisp

  • 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • pinch sea salt
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