Roast Belly of Pork with Apple Cabbage


Here is another recipe from my Sunday Mercury column.

*You can ask your butcher to bone out your belly, to make carving very easy.  Belly of pork does take a while to roast but it is very well behaved and bastes itself as it cooks. In this recipe I have allowed 250g (10oz) portions be­cause it shrinks quite a lot during cooking. Ask your butcher to score the skin well.


1 kg (2lb4oz) belly of pork (boned)

1 white onion, finely sliced

1 sweetheart cabbage

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled

250ml C/z pint) chicken stock

25g (1oz) unsalted butter

2 tbsp olive oil


  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C/gas mark 4.
  2. Rub in the olive oil and season the pork on both sides. Place skin side up on a wire rack and put the rack over a roasting tray.
  3. Roast for 2 ½ hours on the middle shelf, then turn the heat down to 170°C / gas mark 3 and cook for an­other 15 minutes  on  the   bottom shelf.
  4. Quarter the cabbage remove the stalk then slice each quarter length­wise into thin strips. Wash the cab­bage and then blanch in boiling salt­ed water for 2-3 minutes.
  5. Sweat the onion in a large sauce­pan using 1 tbsp butter until soft (4-5 minutes) without colour. Dice three-quarters of the apple into a small even dice.
  6. Drain the cabbage, add to the on­ion and then stir in 50 ml (2fi oz) of chicken stock. Add the diced apple and cook the cabbage on a low heat until tender, then season.
  7. Slice the remaining apple into thick slices and place in the bottom of the pork roasting tray during the last 15 minutes of cooking so the pork juices drip onto the apple slic­es.
  8. When the pork is cook let it rest for 10 minutes in a warm place and save the apple slices to one side.

Add the remaining chicken stock to the roasting tray and boil briskly, whisking from time to time to make sure the sediment from the pork in­corporates with the stock to make your gravy.

Use a pastry cutter to make a neat cabbage circle in the centre of your warm plates. Top with a slice or two of pork. Decorate with the roasted apple and drizzle a little gravy around the plate or offer at the table.

To keep the belly warm, just turn the oven off, leaving the door well ajar so it is not too hot. Place the belly on a baking tray and at the bot­tom of the oven. You could also try adding a tbsp of grain mustard to the pan juice gravy.   *If you don’t own a wire rack you can ask your butcher for the bones to use in place of a wire rack to rest the belly on during cooking.

Don’t forget to visit my other blogs
Easy & Cheap Student Recipes-A great resource if you are a student or just learning how to cook.

Old Blog Posts– A growing archive of posts from my original food blog, which had 20,922,573 page views from its beginning in February 2006 until December 2015.

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6 thoughts on “Roast Belly of Pork with Apple Cabbage

    1. This is one of my favourite food photographs from my newspaper column. We managed to capture all the different elements of the dish. Unlike a painting or a sculpture, hot food only looks good enough for a short time and then the moment is gone.


    1. Hello Cleo and thank you for your question. Often when you are cooking with apples they can get discoloured, and chefs sometimes use lemon juice to keep the apples white. In this recipe I didn’t use any lemon because I just want the flavour of the apple, cabbage and chicken with no acidity. Apple cabbage would work well with other dishes such as Roast Chicken, but to get the best results for this dish you need to make it on the day you use it.

      Best Wishes



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