This is my signature dish and showcases one of my favourite cuts of meat - pork belly. It's cheap and delicious if cooked properly and although the price is sadly creeping up as it becomes more fashionable (a lot like what happened with lamb shanks) it's still great value for money. The apple and onion sauce is a more modern take on traditional apple sauce and brings the dish up a level. Happy cooking!
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 star anise
1 tbsp Fennel seeds
1 tbsp salt
* ½ a whole pork belly
* handful thyme
* handful rosemary
*Rapeseed oil or goose fat to cover
FOR THE ONION & APPLE SAUCE
4 onions , finely chopped
2 Granny Smith apples , cored and sliced
250ml chicken stock
142ml tub double cream
FOR THE CARROTS
12 Chantenay carrots, peeled
1 pack ready to eat puy lentils
1) Crush the spices in a pestle and mortar and slash the skin on the pork belly into triangles with a sharp knife or Stanley knife. Liberally rub with sea salt to crisp up the crackling and mix the spices into the slashed pork belly and the underside and leave to marinade for 24 hours.
2) Set the oven to gas mark 4. Melt the goose fat in a pan whilst heating up a frying pan big enough to fit the pork belly. Seal in the hot pan, transfer to a snug fitting earthenware dish and pour over the goose fat. Place in the over for around 2 1/2 hours.
3) Meanwhile peel and core the apples and slice the onions. Sweat the onions in a pan and add the apple. Cook for 2-3 mins then add the stock and cook until the apple is soft. Blitz until smooth and add the cream to enrich. Set aside.
4) At the same time, lightly brown the fennel in a hot pan and bash in the oven for around 20 mins.
5) Peel the carrots and cook for around 15 mins in the orange juice and stock. Drain and set aside. Colour in a hot pan just before serving.
6) Remove the pork belly and allow it to rest for five minutes. Place the lentils in a pan with a little stock to warm up and reheat the sauce.
7) Place the lentils on the plate, slice the pork belly and place on top. Half the pork belly and place it and the carrots around the plate then pour over the apple and onion sauce.