Slow-roasting pork leaves you with melt-in-your-mouth meat, and crispy crackling on top. With apples and beetroot, Baby Mac's recipe is perfect for autumn.
4 apples, variety of choice, peeled and quartered
6 fresh baby beetroots, peeled
4 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to season
1.5 kg pork belly, well-scored (see tips, below)
375 ml white wine
½ cup prepared chicken stock
mashed potato, to serve
wilted greens, to serve
- Preheat your oven to 220°C. The hotter the better!
- Place apples at the bottom of your roasting pan.
- Halve or quarter the larger beetroot (you can leave the small ones whole), then place them among apples in roasting pan. Place sprigs of rosemary on top. This forms a trivet for the pork belly to sit on while roasting.
- Massage in a little olive oil, some pepper and PLENTY of salt. Lots of salt. When you think that you are done, that it couldn’t possibly take any more, add some more. It’s the key for good crackling.
- Place the seasoned meat on top of the apples, beetroot and herbs and pour white wine into the bottom of the roasting pan.
- Whack it into that hot, hot oven for 20 minutes. The intense heat at the start will make sure that the crackling gets a good head start. Once it’s been up high for 20 minutes, turn the oven down to 150°C and let it cook on this lower heat for 2 hours 40 minutes. The slower, lower cooking should render most of the fat from the meat and you’ll be left with delicious soft meat with a glassy, crackling top.
- Remove tray from oven and let the meat rest for 10 minutes. Carve into individual pieces. Take the apples and beetroots out and add some chicken stock to the pan juices to make a quick sauce. Cook on the stovetop for 5 minutes and transfer into a pouring jug for the table.
- Serve pork on mashed potato, some wilted greens, and of course, those apples and beetroot on the side with a drizzle of the pan juices.