8 Brix suckling belly of pork cooked sous vide served with Bramley apple mash and a warm winter slaw

Ingredients (serves four)

Bramley_recipe_shotSuckling belly pork

  • 1kg suckling belly pork (whole belly/ribs removed and fat taken off)
  • 4 tbsp 8 Brix verjus
  • 50g carrots (fine dice)
  • 50g onions (fine dice)
  • 2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary
  • 4g fennel seeds (freshly ground using pestle and mortar)
  • 2g Sel de Guerande (salt)
  • 2g white Muntoc pepper (freshly ground)

For the crackling

  • 4g Sel de Guerande (salt)
  • 10ml rapeseed oil

Bramley apple mash ingredients

  • 2 Bramley apples (scored around the middle of the apple and cored)
  • 800g Mayan gold potatoes (peeled and diced)
  • 80g salted butter
  • 2g Sel de Guerande (salt)
  • 2g white Muntoc pepper (freshly ground)

Winter slaw ingredients

  • ½ Savoy cabbage (finely shredded)
  • 1 medium carrot (fine julienne)
  • 1 red onion (finely sliced)
  • ½ fennel bulb (finely sliced)
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 50g salted butter
  • 2g Sel de Guerande (salt)
  • 2g white Muntoc pepper (freshly ground)


  • Bramley apple crisps
  • micro fennel cress


Method for 8 Brix suckling belly of pork

  1. Preheat a water bath to 80°C and an oven to 200°C.
  2. Prepare the pork belly by boning out the ribs (roast these in an oven till golden brown and then transfer to a pan ready for the juices to be added) and removing all of the skin (reserve the skin for crackling). Slice the Belly into two even pieces and place into one large sous vide pouch with the carrots, onion, crushed garlic and rosemary.
  3. Prepare the seasoning for the pork by combining the freshly ground fennel seeds, salt, pepper and 8 Brix verjus and then pour into the pouch along with the pork. Hold the bag tight and shake the seasoning to ensure total coverage of the pork.
  4. Vac pack the pork and place in the preheated water bath. Cook for 8 hours.
  5. Meanwhile prepare the crackling by scoring the skin and place in a colander. Pour boiling water over and drain completely before transferring to a greased tray. Then rub salt into the skin, place greaseproof on the top and place a weighted tray on top to keep it flat. Refrigerate overnight to allow the skin to dry out.
  6. When ready to cook, brush the skin with vegetable oil and replace the greaseproof and tray to help the skin retain its flatness. Transfer to a preheated oven and cook at 200°C for 8 minutes and then turn it down to 180°C for 10 minutes. Remove and leave to cool.
  7. After 8 hours carefully open the pouch and pour the juices and vegetables into the pan with the roasted bones and reduce the jus by 1/3. Strain through fine chinois or muslin cloth and retain for service.
  8. Take the two pieces of pork out and place one on top of the other on a greaseproof lined tray. As with the crackling, place another piece of greaseproof on top and a weighted tray to press the two pieces of pork together. Then leave in the fridge overnight.
  9. The next day when ready to serve, pre-portion the pressed belly pork and reheat in a pan with a knob of butter and some more of the 8 Brix verjus. For the crackling, cut into the same size shape as the portions of belly pork, brush the crackling with some vegetable oil and reheat under a grill or in a hot oven until well golden and at crackling stage. Serve with the Bramley apple mash, warm winter slaw and finish with the Bramley apple crisps and 8 Brix jus.

Method for Bramley apple mash

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C and a steamer to 100°C.
  2. Place the diced potatoes into a sous-vide pouch along with the butter and seasoning and seal in a vac packer. Place the potatoes into a steamer for 40 minutes.
  3. Place the scored and cored Bramley apples on a tray into the preheated oven and cook for 25 minutes until apple is bursting through the scored skin.
  4. After the apple has cooled, remove the skin and place into a bowl large enough for the potatoes to be added and mashed.
  5. When potatoes are cooked (squeeze whilst still in the pouch to check density), open the pouch and add the potatoes to the cooked apple, then mash. For brilliantly smooth Bramley apple mash push the mash through a sieve with a flexible spatula.

Method for warm winter slaw

  1. Prepare vegetables ahead and cook to order to maintain maximum freshness and colour.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok and add all of the vegetables. Toss the vegetables to ensure consistent cooking throughout the mix.
  3. Add the butter, fennel seeds and seasoning and continue to toss until the Savoy cabbage has softened but ensure that it has kept its vibrant green colour.

Method for Bramley apple crisps

  1. To prepare Bramley apple crisps slice the apple laterally using a mandolin or slicing machine and lay on a greaseproof lined tray. Brush with stock syrup/sugar solution and slow bake in an oven at 100°C for 2 hours or until golden and crisp.

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