Bill Grainger's crisp pork belly with apple sauce

I like this as a classic Sunday lunch with apple sauce, roast spuds and a salad of bitter leaves like chicory and radicchio with a mustard dressing. Or break up the crisp pork belly over the bitter leaves and add thin slices of apple or pear for a lighter meal.



  • 900g pork belly
  • sea salt
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 4 garlic cloves, squashed with the back of a knife
  • 3 strips of orange peel

For the apple sauce



  • 4 apples
  • 60ml water
  • 2 tbs caster sugar
  • Knob of butter
  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • Pinch of mixed spice


Preheat the oven to 140ºC/gas mark 1 and score the pork belly lengthways with a sharp knife (a craft knife is useful for this). Rub the pork belly with lots of sea salt, making sure you get into the score marks. Put, uncovered, in the fridge for 30 minutes to dry out.

Put the bay leaves, garlic and orange peel in a roasting tin and place the pork belly on top. Pour 1cm cold water into the tin and roast the pork, uncovered, for 3 hours.

Increase the oven to 220ºC/gas mark 8 and roast the pork for 20–30 minutes, or until the skin crackles. (If the skin won’t crackle, put under a hot grill for 1–2 minutes.) Remove from the oven, cover with foil and leave to rest for 15 minutes. Serve with apple sauce and salad leaves.

For the apple sauce
Peel, core and cut 4 apples into quarters. Put in a saucepan with 60ml water. Cover the pan and simmer over medium heat for 10 minutes until the apple is soft.

Add 2 tablespoons caster sugar, a knob of butter, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and a pinch of mixed spice. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and the butter melted, then remove from the heat and cool a little before serving.