Marinated Pork Belly with Asian spices and cabbage

This is now a popular cut, and lends itself beautifully to slow cooking. This recipe, which we use at Le Manoir aux Quat'Saisons is just one of many different spice- marinade combinations that you could use. At last in this country we are now celebrating rare breeds such as Tamworth, Middle White, Berkshire. So we have the choice – please, if possible, buy locally-reared pork. 

Marinated Pork Belly with Asian spices and cabbage

Ingredients Required

For the pork belly:
1kg Pork belly, ribs removed & oven ready by your butcher
4g Sea salt
1 Stick lemongrass, fresh, bruised and halved lengthways (this is to extract essential oils)
2 pinches Freshly ground white pepper
3 pinches Five spice powder
15g New season garlic, crushed
10g Fresh ginger, peeled & chopped
2 Red chillies, deseeded & finely chopped
200ml Cold water
30ml(*1) Rapeseed oil
For the cabbage:
350g Pointed spring cabbage, sliced 5mm thick, washed
20g Unsalted butter
50ml Water
1 pinch Sea salt
1 pinch Freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Method

Marinating the pork belly

Rub the marinade into the flesh side of the belly, cover with cling film and allow to Marinate for at least 2 hours or up to 12 hours in the fridge.

To cook in the oven

  1. Preheat the oven to 150ºC
  2. In a large ovenproof roasting pot with a lid, place the pork belly skin side up. On a high eat, add the cold water and bring to the boil(*2).
  3. Cover with a lid and transfer to the preheated oven for 2.5 hours. Remove from the oven.  check to see if you can push the blunt handle of a tablespoon thought the belly to see if it is cooked. Then allow to cool and chill in the fridge pressed between 2 oven trays with a weight on top(*3).

To cook the cabbage 

  1. Over a medium heat in a large sauce pan (30cm) with lid, add the cabbage, butter, water and seasoning(*4).
  2. Cover with the lid and cook for 5-7 minutes until the cabbage is tender. 
  3. Strain off any excess cooking liquor and reserve.

To finish the cooking juices

  1. Add 200ml of water(*5) to the strained cooking liquor and bring to a boil, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper. You can also add a little soy sauce and toasted sesame oil to taste.

To finish & serve

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC.
  2. On a medium heat in a small frying pan gently crisp belly in the oil for 10-15 mins and finish cooking in the oven for 10 minutes.
  3. Serve the pork belly sitting on the cabbage in a large bowl with a ladle of the cooking juices poured over the top. You could also serve all the belly, cabbage and cooking juices in the roasting pot placed in the centre of the table.