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Add a sweet touch to the standard pork belly roast with caramelised apples which are a healthier alternative to sugar. This candied treat will definitely be a hit with the kids.


  • 4 kg piece boneless pork belly
  • 1 bulb garlic, halved
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsps coarse cooking salt

Caramelised Apples

  • 110 g caster sugar
  • 125 ml calvados (apple brandy)
  • 20 g butter
  • 4 small apples, peeled, halved and cored

Cider Sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 French shallots, sliced thinly
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 750 ml dry apple cider
  • 1 chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • 50 g chilled butter, chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preheat the oven to 140 C. Using a small sharp knife (or a Stanley knife), score the pork rind.


Place garlic and thyme in the base of a medium baking dish. Season the pork flesh with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place pork, rind-side up, on garlic mixture. Add enough boiling water to the baking dish to almost cover pork (try not to cover rind). Place a sheet of baking paper over pork. Cover dish tightly with foil, ensuring it is completely sealed. Roast for 4 hours (the pork should be starting to fall apart).


Remove pork from the baking dish; discard liquid. Cool pork to room temperature, keeping it covered with baking paper and foil (refrigerate overnight, if desired).


Preheat oven to 220 C. Cut pork into 8 equal pieces. Place pork on a baking-paper lined oven tray. Rub the rind with oil and coarse cooking salt. Roast for about 30 mins or until the rind is crisp and browned.


Place sugar in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook, without stirring, until sugar turns a dark caramel colour. Add calvados and flambe; (be very careful, this will flame). Simmer, uncovered, for about 1 min, then add butter and apples; stir to coat the apples in butter mixture. Cook, covered loosely, for about 8 to 10 mins, turning apples occasionally until just tender.


Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook shallots, garlic and thyme for about 3 to 4 mins or until tender. Add cider and bring to the boil. Boil for 5 mins or until liquid is reduced to 1 cup. Add stock cube; simmer for 2 mins. Remove from heat. Strain mixture through a fine sieve over a bowl; discard solids. Return cider to the pan over low heat. Gradually whisk in butter (piece by piece) until shiny and thickened slightly. Stir in parsley.

Recipe & Photo: The Australian Women’s Weekly/BauerSyndication.com.au

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