For the roast pork belly

  • 1.8kg/4lb  pork belly
  • 4 tbsp  sea salt flakes

For the rib gravy

  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 large pork ribs
  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 1 litre/1¾ pints  chicken stock
  • 8 black peppercorns
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 6 springs fresh thyme

For the apple bread sauce

  • 1 litre/1¾ pints milk
  • ½ onion, skin left on
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 eating apples, preferably Cox's Orange Pippin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 250g/9oz fresh breadcrumbs
  • 75g/2¾oz  butter
  • 3 tsp ground cinnamon


  • Preheat the oven to 230C/210Cfan/Gas 8.
  • For the roast pork belly, put the pork belly in a roasting tray, skin-side up. Thoroughly pat it dry with kitchen paper, then rub sea salt all over the skin. Set aside for 20 minutes.
  • Roast the pork belly for 30minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160C/140C fan/Gas 3 and continueto cook for a further 1½ hours. When cooked, set the pork aside to rest in a warm place.
  • Meanwhile, for the rib gravy, heat the oil in large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the pork ribs and fry for 3-4 minutes on each side, turning them regularly until they have caramelised all over. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Add the onions and carrots to the pan, then pour over the stock. Bring to the boil, scraping any burned bits up from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon.
  • Return the browned pork ribs to the pan, then add the peppercorns, bay leaves and thyme. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, then continue to simmer gently for 1½ hours.
  • Meanwhile, for the apple breadsauce, heat the milk in a large saucepan. Stud the onion with 3 of the cloves and add to the hot milk. Stud one of the apples with the remaining 2 cloves and add to the pan along with the cinnamon stick. As the milk starts to bubble,turn off the heat, cover the pan with a lid and leave to infuse for at least 30 minutes. Once infused, discard the apple, onion, cloves and cinnamon stick.
  • Add the breadcrumbs and butter to the infused milk, stir well and heat gently. Just before serving, grate in the remaining apple and stir in the ground cinnamon.
  • When the cooking time for the pork ribs has elapsed, remove the ribs and slide the meat from the bone. Chop the meat and return it to the gravy mixture.
  • To serve, carve the pork belly and arrange the slices onto a serving platter. Serve the rib gravy in a large jug alongside and the apple bread sauce in a large serving bowl. Allow everyone to help themselves.