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Roast Pork with Apple, Fennel, Pickled Onion Salad

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This recipe is perfect to say hello to spring and to make on a Sunday afternoon for dinner. The crispiness, freshness and sweetness of the apple, fennel and pickled onion salad pairs perfectly with the saltiness of the roast pork crackling. Peter Bouchier’s ~1kg pork belly comes scored and bone-in, meaning you have a juicier, more flavoursome cut of meat. It makes great leftovers too! (see notes on how to reheat)
September 1, 2021


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  • 1kg Peter Bouchier pork belly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp Peter Bouchier Butcher's Salt (or substitute for 1 tsp kosher salt)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt + 1 tsp cracked pepper
  • 2 onions, quartered
  • 1 garlic bulb, halved sideways
  • 1 cup Chardonnay (or any dry white wine)
  • To serve: gravy of your choice
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced into rings
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp freshly cracked pepper, 1 tsp sugar
  • ½ cup warm water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 1 Pink Lady Apple, cored
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed with fronds reserved
  • Juice of 1 lemon (approx. 2-3 tbsp)
  • 1 ½ cup cold water
  • 3 tbs verjuice, 3 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, Freshly cracked black pepper
  • ¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped



Leave your pork in the fridge uncovered to let the skin dry out for at least 1 day before you plan to roast it and leave on the bench with paper towel draped over the skin for 1 hour before roasting.


Preheat oven to 220c (200 if fan forced). In a roasting pan, add onions and garlic. Brush the flesh and the sides of pork belly with half of the olive oil and rub Peter Bouchier Butcher’s Salt all over. Flip, and place into the roasting pan on top of the onions and garlic, skin side up. Pat skin with paper towel and liberally brush with oil. Rub kosher salt all over the skin, taking care to ensure all skin is completely covered with oil and salt. Carefully pour wine into the base of the pan, ensuring to not wet the skin.


Place pork into pre-heated oven, then immediately turn heat down to 160c (140c if fan forced). Roast for 1 hour and 20 minutes, rotating the pan every 30-40 minutes. During this time, ensure that the liquid has not evaporated completely and add an additional ¼ cup of water to the bottom of the pan if needed.


Meanwhile, to make the pickled onion, stir to dissolve kosher salt and sugar in a bowl with warm water. Add in apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, freshly cracked black pepper. Add in sliced onions and stir to coat. Set aside for at least 1 hour.


For the salad, slice apple and fennel using a mandolin (or just as thin as possible with your knife). Let sit in mixture of water with half the lemon juice to stop it from browning. To make the dressing, combine verjuice, remaining lemon juice, salt, freshly cracked black pepper and olive oil in a bowl. Set aside until ready to serve.


Once pork has been roasting for 1 hour and 20 minutes, take out of oven and turn the heat up to 250c (230 if fan forced). Whilst waiting for oven to heat up, take the time to ensure pork is even in height (i.e. not dipping or raised in any corners). If required, use balls of tinfoil and shift the onion and garlic around to even out the height to ensure even crackling. Brush dried up spots with oil and sprinkle on salt where needed, remembering that any spots of skin not covered in salt will not crackle!


Roast in the hot oven for an additional 30 minutes, turning every 10 minutes. Once cooked through and crackled, remove from oven and tent with foil. Leave to rest for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the lemon water from the apple and fennel, and pickle juice from the onions. Combine apple, fennel, onions in a bowl, followed by dressing. Garnish with chopped walnuts and fennel fronds.


Turn the pork onto its side and slice off bones from the bottom. Cut into slices and enjoy with salad and gravy on the side.


NOTE: If you experience uneven crackling by the end of the 30 minutes, tent places that have successfully crackled with tinfoil and tooth picks and turn your oven to grill setting. Keep a close eye on it and it should crackle up.


NOTE: To reheat pork, heat at 200c (180c if fan forced) for 15 minutes covered, then uncover and turn to grill setting for 5 minutes.


The ribs are great to nibble on their own, but you can brush BBQ sauce on them and grill for 10 minutes, flipping half way and have BBQ ribs!










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About the author

Vivien is a Melbourne-based home cook who enjoys cooking for her friends and family. She also loves writing recipes to share on her blog and Instagram. Vivien is passionate about discovering new flavours and ingredients, and takes culinary inspiration from her Vietnamese background and multicultural Australia, where she was born and raised. Follow Vivien on instagram @vivieneats.


"pork", "spring", "salad", "crackling", "fresh"

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