I favour apples with a high acidity, like Granny Smiths, to cut through the fattiness of the pork belly. If you can’t get apples that are sufficiently acidic, you can always add a little lemon juice to the purée.
The day before, using a craft knife, slash the pork rind into
Next day, take the pork from the brine, place in a pan of cold water, bring to the boil, lift out the pork and leave to cool slightly. Preheat the oven to 160°C/gas 3.
Place the garlic and thyme on the base of a roasting tray, put the pork on top, rind side up, and liberally drizzle with olive oil and salt. Pour
When cooked, take from the oven and leave to cool down. Pour off all the juices and reserve. Place a tray or board on top of the pork and apply 3–4 plates to press and reshape the pork in order to obtain a nice flat appearance (otherwise it develops an odd shape during cooking and cooling).
To cook the lentils, melt the butter in a large heavy-based pan and lightly sweat the diced vegetables in it. Add the lentils and reserved juices from the pork. Top up with water to cover plus
To make the Granny Smith apple purée, peel, core and chop the apples. Put in a stainless-steel pan with the butter, cover and cook over a low heat until soft, about 10–15 minutes. Crush or blend to a paste.
Serve the pork carved thickly, with the purée and lentils.
© 2008 Anthony Demetre. All rights reserved.