Roast Pork with Warm Apple, Bean and Fennel Salad
It’s nice to have surprises and serving something a little bit different at your dinner parties is great but the key is to keep it simple.
Now I’m just taking a nice basic piece of pork belly that roasts in the oven for a long time, making it easy for you to get on with other jobs. I’m going to season it with some fennel seeds, I’m going to crush those, just, in a pestle and mortar to release the flavour. Scatter over the top, add some salt, which will draw out all of the excess moisture giving a really crispy skin and a drizzle of olive oil and just rub this pressing it in right into those score marks on the pork. And then you want to just place this in the oven to cook for a least 2 hours. And by then it will be deliciously crispy and can be left for about half an hour to rest, while you prepare your salad.
Finely slice some fennel. Fennel has a really lovely aniseed flavour which works beautifully with the pork and ties in nicely with the fennel seeds that we rubbed into the top of that pork crackling. Olive oil into a hot pan, fennel in, and some chopped green beans and then just sauté for about five minutes until beginning to soften. Then in with a pink lady apple, with the skin left on to give a nice flash of colour, and a pinch of chilli flakes for a little bit of a kick. Cook for a minute or two for the apples to soften. Then in with the cannellini beans and chicken stock and then leave to simmer while you carve the pork. Now a good tip for carving pork if it’s got a nice crispy skin is to use a serrated knife to make it far easier and safer. And then pop on your plate. And a spoonful of salad with all those lovely juices.
And this would be delicious served with a fruity Merlot or a full bodied Chardonnay.