For the power plum sauce

Country Homes & Interiors - - GOOD TIMES, GOOD FOOD -

1 large sharp eat­ing ap­ple or cook­ing ap­ple, peeled, cored and chopped

350g plums, pit­ted

10 sage leaves, finely chopped

225g dried apri­cots

185g caster su­gar, plus ex­tra if needed

150ml white wine vine­gar

1 red chilli, de­seeded and chopped Pre­heat the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas 7. Pat the pork belly dry with pa­per tow­els and score the skin. Sea­son the pork, rub­bing the salt into the skin. Make a paste of the sage and gar­lic in a pes­tle and mor­tar, then rub it over the pork. Roast the pork for 30 min­utes, then lower the heat to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas 4 and con­tinue to cook for a fur­ther 1½ hours.

Mean­while, make the sauce. Cook the ap­ple with 6 tbsp of wa­ter for about 10 min­utes un­til soft, then add the other in­gre­di­ents. Sim­mer un­til thick (this takes at least 45 min­utes). Taste and add more su­gar, if nec­es­sary.

Smear about 2 tbsp of the sauce over the sur­face of the pork and con­tinue roast­ing for a fur­ther 30 min­utes un­til the skin is crisp and the meat very ten­der.

Serve the pork belly with the re­main­ing sauce (cold or re­heated, if you like), pota­toes and green veg­eta­bles.

Recipes taken from Herbs by Ju­dith Hann (£20, Nour­ish Books).

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