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What to make this weekend: JP McMahon’s rolled pork belly with fennel seeds and cider


By JP McMahon
03rd Dec 2022

Anita Murphy

What to make this weekend: JP McMahon’s rolled pork belly with fennel seeds and cider

Award-winning chef and restaurant owner JP McMahon shares his favourite rolled pork belly recipe with us – a classic for festive season entertaining.

Rolled pork belly with fennel seeds and cider

Preparation: 20 minutes, plus marinating time
Cooking: 3 hours, plus resting time
Serves 6

 

Ingredients

  • rapeseed oil
  • 1 x 3kg pork belly, boned with skin on
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, broken into cloves
  • 500 ml cider

 

For the marinade

  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fennel seeds
  • a few sprigs of rosemary and thyme
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Make the marinade. Put the bay leaves, fennel seeds, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper into a food processor and blend to a powder.
  2. Rub some oil into the flesh of the pork belly and season with the powder. Marinate for a few hours.
  3. Preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/Gas Mark 3.
  4. Tie the belly into a cylinder with the aid of some kitchen string (twine).
  5. Put the vegetables and garlic into a roasting pan and place the pork on top. Pour the cider over the vegetables. Roast in the preheated oven for 2–3 hours until the pork is tender. Keep an eye on the level of liquid around the vegetables. If it starts to evaporate too quickly, top up with some chicken stock or water.
  6. Allow the belly to rest for 15 minutes before carving.

This recipe was extracted from The Irish Cook Book by JP McMahon (Phaidon 2020). Signed copies, from €55,  are available to purchase from www.aniarrestaurant.ie. An Alphabet of Aniar: Notes for a New Irish Cuisine by JP McMahon (due to be published in March 2023) is available for pre-order now.

Photography by Ginger and Sage Photography.