SERVES 6 – Preparation 30 mins – Cooking time 180 mins
2 kg boneless pork belly1 tablespoon olive oil3 teaspoons sea salt flakes1 tablespoon fennel seeds, roasted and crushed2 garlic 2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes1 tablespoon olive oil2 red onions, thickly sliced½ bunch fresh thyme + extra to serve
4 Granny Smith apples, quartered and coredOlive oil, for drizzling
- Preheat oven to 240˚C/220˚C fan-forced.
- Using a sharp knife, score the pork rind at 1cm intervals. Rub pork rind with oil and then rub with salt.
- Combine fennel seeds, garlic, chilli flakes, lemon zest and oil in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
- Using the tip of a sharp knife, make 12-15 indents into pork belly (do not cut through to the fat). Rub fennel mixture over pork flesh.
- Fold a large sheet of aluminium foil to make a double layered rectangle (larger than the pork belly). Place foil onto into a large shallow heavy-based baking pan.
- Arrange onions and thyme on the foil. Place pork, flesh-side down, over onion mixture. Crimp the foil edges so it goes up the sides of pork but below the level of the rind (this allows pork to cook in its own juices and the crackling to remain crisp). Roast for 30 minutes.
- Decrease oven to 160˚C/140˚C fan-forced and roast pork for 2 ½ hours or until very tender. Remove from oven. Transfer pork to a carving board and set aside for 15 minutes to rest (discard thyme and onions).
- In the last 15 minutes of cooking the pork, to cook roasted apples, place apples onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30 minutes until very tender.
- Slice pork belly. Serve with roasted apples and sprinkle with extra thyme. Drizzle with the warmed pan juices if liked.