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Roasted pork belly with apple fritters, spring onion mash cakes and red wine gravy recipe

Roasted pork belly with apple fritters, spring onion mash cakes and red wine gravy recipe

  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Vegetable
  • Root vegetables
  • Potato

Economical yet elegant and tasty pork belly slices roasted and served with apple fritters, spring onion mash cakes, cabbage and apple sauce with red wine gravy.


Kent, England, UK

60 people made this

IngredientsServes: 2

  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ground cumin
  • 3 pork belly rashers
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • splash milk
  • 4 knobs butter, or as needed
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 slice streaky bacon (optional)
  • 2 red apples (1 peeled and diced and 1 cored and sliced)
  • 1 pinch celery salt (optional)
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 splash water
  • breadcrumbs
  • 1 good handful thinly sliced Savoy cabbage
  • 1/2 to 3/4 glass red wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Bisto® granules
  • 1 dried bay leaf

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr20min ›Ready in:1hr35min

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Spray or wipe a little oil onto a baking tray. Rub salt, pepper and cumin into the pork belly slices and place onto the baking tray. Place the star anise on top.
  2. Bake for about 1 hour.
  3. Meanwhile, boil the potatoes until tender, drain and mash them with the milk, a knob of butter, salt and pepper. Stir in the spring onions. Spread the mash onto a chopping board and using a large scone cutter, cut out 4 mash circles about 1cm thick. Brush the tops with beaten egg; set aside. Set aside the remaining egg.
  4. After the pork belly has baked for 1 hour, reduce the heat to 170 C, add the potato cakes and streaky bacon to the baking tray and bake for a further 20 minutes.
  5. In a saucepan add the diced apple, a knob of butter, a little oil, celery salt, garlic and splash of water. Cook over low heat until the apple has mushed down and you have a smooth sauce.
  6. To make the apple fritters, dip the apple slices into the reserved beaten egg, shake off excess then press into breadcrumbs. Chill until needed. Heat a saucepan with some oil and deep or shallow fry the apple fritters until golden.
  7. Prepare the cabbage: In a saucepan melt a little butter over low heat. Add the cabbage and a good splash water. Wilt down with the lid on until cooked, about 5 minutes.
  8. In a separate saucepan, heat the wine, Bisto (already mixed with water), salt and pepper, 1 knob butter and bay leaf. Remove baking tray from oven. Assemble dish with 2 to 3 pork belly slices in middle of plate. Take 1 potato cake, dollop with cabbage and top with another potato cake. Dollop some apple sauce on the plate and top with 2 apple fritters and a bacon slice garnish if using. If there are any meat juices from baking, add to the gravy and drizzle the gravy over the plate.

Make ahead

The potato cakes, cabbage, apple sauce and gravy can easily be made ahead and re-heated making it easy for a dinner party.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Reviews in English (1)

Loved it, very tasty.-03 Sep 2011


Apple Fritters with Crème Anglaise

What Fall has meant to me all this year was that my daughter was getting married. The wedding was last weekend and it was the most beautiful, special weekend any mother could imagine. The bride and groom were so happy and the venue (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center) was wonderful. Lots of fall flowers and grasses still in bloom and looking gorgeous. But not nearly as gorgeous as my daughter walking down the isle to meet her future husband with family and friends there to celebrate. All the planning and decision making is over so I guess it’s time to get on to other things. I’m thinking about going back to culinary school and finishing what I started years ago. Or, enrolling in some camera classes at our local college. So until then, I guess I will start cooking a little more. I think my husband is ready for some good comfort food.

When I think of Fall I think of apple picking time and one of my kid’s field trips when we lived in Iowa and how we went to pick apples with a whole bus load of screaming kids. The crisp morning air was wonderful and the smell of apples just made you want to run all the way home and make an apple pie.

I love the signs of Fall like apple picking, pumpkins growing in the fields (another field trip) and the crunch of beautiful colored leaves below your feet, the maple trees starting to show some color on your long drives through the countryside or just that leafy autumn smell filling the air was enough to have me in my kitchen wanting to cook something comforting. And, I just love it when I actually need to grab a jacket before going out (normally doesn’t happen in Texas until maybe December, but it happened this morning).

This particular recipe came from a dinner group we belonged to while living in Iowa back in the late 70’s/80’s. We made some of the best friends while living there through church and Welcome Wagon. There wasn’t a lot to do in the winter there, so to get together with friends for a great meal and enjoy all the snow from inside in front of a crackling fire was just so comforting.

Normally a person thinks of fritters, they think of little dough puffs kind of like doughnuts or hushpuppies. This recipe uses cored and sliced apple rings for the fritters. They are dipped in a beer and rum batter and fried until golden and the Crème Anglaise is wonderful. I called this Vanilla Cream sauce for years before I realized it was really a Crème Anglaise. It’s still good, no matter what it is called.

Peeled, sliced and cored. I can’t believe I do not have an apple corer. I have one that cores and slices the apples into wedges but not one that just took out the core. So I used a small flower cutter to take out center.

The slices get tossed with the sugar, cinnamon and brandy.

The beaten egg whites and the left over marinade from the apples get folded into the batter.

Fry until nice and browned on both sides.

Dust with powdered sugar or serve with crème anglaise drizzled on plate and fritters.


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Italian Treasures – Machiavelli

The father of modern political theory, Niccolo di Bernardo dei Machiavelli, was born in Florence, Italy on May 3, 1469 during a time when Italy was divided into four rival city-states. Machiavelli was born in a tumultuous era—popes waged wars against the Italian city-states and people and cities often fell from power very quickly. Foreign powers such as France, Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and even Switzerland battled for regional influence and control. Political-military alliances continually switched allegiance, mercenary leaders changed sides without warning and the rise of many governments were short-lived.

The Machiavelli family were believed to be descended from the Marquesses of Tuscany and produced a number of Florentine Gonfalonieres of Justice. Machiavelli was the third child and first son of attorney, Bernardo di Niccolò Machiavelli, and his wife, Bartolomea di Stefano Nelli. Machiavelli was taught grammar, rhetoric and Latin in his younger years.

In 1494, Florence restored the republic—expelling the Medici family, who had ruled Florence for some sixty years. Machiavelli was appointed to an office in the second chancery, which put Machiavelli in charge of the production of official Florentine government documents. Shortly thereafter, he was also made the secretary of the Dieci di Libertà e Pace. In the first decade of the sixteenth century, he carried out several diplomatic missions: most notably to the Papacy in Rome. From 1502 to 1503, he witnessed the brutal reality of the state-building methods of Cesare Borgia (1475–1507) and Borgia’s father, Pope Alexander VI, who were then engaged in the process of trying to bring a large part of central Italy under their possession. The pretext of defending Church interests was used as partial justification by the Borgias.

After Machiavelli’s involvement in an unsuccessful attempt to organize a Florentine militia against the return of the Medici family to power in 1512 became known, he was tortured, jailed and banished from an active role in political life. Machiavelli then left Florence and moved to his estate at Sant’Andrea in Percussina (near San Casciano in Val di Pesa) and devoted himself to study and to the writing of political treatises that earned him his intellectual place in the development of political philosophy and political theory. Despairing of the opportunity to remain directly involved in political matters, after a time, Machiavelli began to participate in intellectual groups in Florence and wrote several plays that (unlike his works on political theory) were both popular and widely known in his lifetime. Still, politics remained his main passion and, to satisfy this interest, he maintained a well-known correspondence with politically connected friends, attempting to become involved once again in political life.

In a letter to Francesco Vettori, he described his exile:
When evening comes, I go back home, and go to my study. On the threshold, I take off my work clothes, covered in mud and filth, and I put on the clothes an ambassador would wear. Decently dressed, I enter the ancient courts of rulers who have long since died. There, I am warmly welcomed, and I feed on the only food I find nourishing and was born to savor. I am not ashamed to talk to them and ask them to explain their actions and they, out of kindness, answer me. Four hours go by without my feeling any anxiety. I forget every worry. I am no longer afraid of poverty or frightened of death. I live entirely through them.

It was during this time period that he wrote, The Prince, a handbook for politicians on the use of ruthless, self-serving and cunning behaviors, inspiring the term “Machiavellian” and establishing Machiavelli as the “father of modern political theory.” Instead of the more traditional subject of a hereditary prince, this work concentrates on the possibility of a “new prince.” To retain power, the “hereditary prince” must carefully maintain the sociopolitical institutions to which the people are accustomed, whereas a “new prince” has the more difficult task, since he must first stabilize his newfound power in order to build an enduring political structure.

Machiavelli asserted that social benefits of stability and security could be achieved in the face of moral corruption. Additionally, Machiavelli believed that public and private morality had to be understood as two different things in order to rule well. As a result, a ruler must be concerned not only with reputation, but must be willing to act immorally at the right times. As a political theorist, Machiavelli emphasized the occasional need for brute force or deception in order to retain power. In a sense, he established the framework for power and how it can be achieved and maintained in the realm of the political scene. Politics became a separate space in society with its own set of rules, concepts and moral codes.

The main theme of this work about monarchical rule and survival is man’s capacity for determining his own destiny in opposition to the power of fate. This political philosophy has been interpreted to mean that one may resort to any means, in order to establish and preserve total authority.

Many believe that the book’s main character, the prince, was based on Cesare Borgia and still others view it as a work of satire. Pope Clement VIII, however, condemned The Prince for its endorsement of rule by deceit and fear. One excerpt from the book reads: “Since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.” “Machiavellianism” is a widely used, negative term to characterize unscrupulous politicians of the sort Machiavelli described in The Prince. The book itself gained notoriety and wide readership because the author seemed to be endorsing behavior often deemed as evil and immoral.

In addition to The Prince, Machiavelli wrote the treatise, On the Art of War (1521) and several poems and plays, including The Mandrake. In his later years, Niccolò Machiavelli resided in a small village just outside of Florence. He died on June 21, 1527 and his tomb is in the church of Santa Croce in Florence which, ironically, he had been banned from entering during the last years of his life.

Machiavelli’s ideas had a profound impact on political leaders throughout the modern west and his work was widely published following the invention of the printing press. It was reported that The Prince was spoken of highly by Thomas Cromwell in England and the work had influenced Henry VIII in his implementation of political tactics. A copy was also possessed by the Catholic king and emperor, Charles V. Catholic writers associated Machiavelli with the Protestants, whereas Protestants saw him as Italian and Catholic. In fact, he apparently influenced both Catholic and Protestant kings.


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