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Like any recipe (this one is from A Simple Table by Michele Cranston) for pork belly, this is incredibly rich, so it’s been teamed with a green papaya salad that is fresh-flavoured with a little chilli bite.


  • 4 green apples
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 2 kg boneless poek belly without the rind
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsps light brown sugar
  • 3 tbsps finely chopped indian lime pickle
  • 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper

Green Papaya Salad

  • 6 mint leaves
  • 1½ tbsps lime juice
  • 1½ tbsps fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 small red chilli, seeded and finely chopped
  • 500 g green papaya
  • 2 tbsps finely chopped roasted peanuts
  • 1 handful coriander leaves

Preheat the oven to 140 C. Line a deep roasting tin with extra-wide foil and then baking paper.


Peel, core and thickly slice the apples. Place the apple slices in the bottom of the prepared tin and pour the wine over them.


Lay the pork belly on top of the apples.


Using the flat edge of a large knife, crush the garlic and then finely chop with the sea salt to form a paste. Combine the garlic paste, ginger, brown sugar and lime pickle in a small bowl.


Rub the paste over the pork and season with the pepper. Cover with foil and roast for 1 hour, then remove the foil and cook for a further 2 hours, or until tender.


Meanwhile, to make the green papaya salad, finely chop the mint leaves and put them in a large bowl with the lime juice, fish sauce, sugar and chilli. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then set the dressing to one side.


Peel the papaya and remove any seeds, then julienne the papaya with a mandoline. Add the papaya to the dressing, along with the peanuts and coriander leaves, and toss to combine.


Remove the pork from the oven and set it aside, loosely covered, for 15 mins. Carve the pork into thick slices and serve with the apple slices and green papaya salad.

TIP: If green papaya is difficult to source, replace it with roast pumpkin wedges and a simple lettuce and cucumber salad.

Recipe & Photo: Michele Cranston/BauerSyndication.com.au

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