Pork belly slow cooked in apple, fennel and white wine

Pork belly has the most amazing flavour, it is fatty, I find trimming the top layer off helps take away the strong fatty flavours but it needs some fat left for slow cooking so it doesn’t end up dry.

800 grams pork belly
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 bulb fennel (if available) or 1 teaspoon ground fennel seed
2 sprigs thyme
2 apples
1 cup white wine
1 cup beef or vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper

Peel and slice the onion, crush the garlic, chop the apple and slice the fennel bulb and spread them over the bottom of the slow cooker with the thyme, fennel seed, wine, stock and bayleaf and a pinch of salt and pepper. Remove the skin and the top layer of fat from the pork belly, you can salt and bake the skin in a hot oven to make crackle if you want. Put the pork meat in slow cooker and cook for about four hours or until it falls apart.

When the pork is cooked, to make a sauce form the apples and juices left once the pork has been removed from the slow cooker, remove as much fat as possible from the apple and juices(put the whole lot in the refrigerator and remove the set fat if you have time) and thicken with 1 tablespoon of flour and add 1 cup of stock and simmer for about 6 minutes or until the flour is cooked and puree and season with salt and pepper.

To make the sauce in the thermomix add the onions, apples and juices from the slow cooker to the mixing bowl with 1 tablespoon of flour and 1 cup of stock and cook 10 minutes/100/speed 1 and then puree 1 minute/speed 10

Serve with seasonal vegetables, I have served it with a carrot, pumpkin and sweet potato puree here, cooked in the thermomix basket and then pureed with a little butter and salt and pepper.


Like this recipe? Find more in my first cookbook The Real Food for Kids Cookbook. When you cook this please let me know how you go with it and share it with your friends!


5 spice plum sauce

This sauce makes a quick and simple chicken or pork stir-fry very tasty with a dash of oyster sauce, or serve it straight from the jar with grilled chicken or pork steak.

600 plums
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon ginger
¼ teaspoon cloves
½ teaspoon schezwan pepper
½ teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon star anise
½ teaspoon fennel seeds
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 apples
2 cups brown sugar

dry roast and grind the spices, or use ground spices or a five spice blend.

Peel and dice onion and chop garlic, sauté the onion and garlic in a little oil, in a heavy based pot with the spices for about 2 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the plums with the pip removed, vinegar, chunky chopped apples, with the core removed, and simmer gently until cooked, about 20 minutes. Puree and add sugar and simmer for another 45 minutes or until the sauce has reached setting point. Test setting point by putting a little on a small plate and putting in the refrigerator until its cold to see if it is at the desired thickness. Pour immediately into sterilised jars to store.

In the thermomix; add peeled onion and garlic chop 5/speed 5. Add spices and sauté 4 minutes/100c speed 1. Add plums with pips removed, apples with core removed, vinegar and cook 30minutes/100C/speed 1. Puree speed 10/1 minutes. Add sugar and cook 30minutes/speed 1/100c. Check to see if it is at setting point (see above)  and pour into clean sterilised jars.


Like this recipe? Find more in my first cookbook The Real Food for Kids Cookbook. When you cook this please let me know how you go with it and share it with your friends!