Crispy Pork Belly with Blondee Apple Sauce and Root Vegetable Casserole with Dark Ale & Honey Reduction

A holiday recipe from Chef Aaron Moss at Nesleton Waters Inn

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Chef Aaron Pork Belly


  • 2 lbs or pork belly with the skin on
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • ½ cup salt
  • 2 Blondee apples (Alternative: use another crisp variety like Granny Smith, Mutsu or Honeycrsip)
  • 2 cups of dark ale
  • ¼ cup honey
  • ¼ cup of cornstarch
  • 1 onion
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 2 carrots
  • 3 sprigs thyme
  • 3 sprigs sage
  • 4 yellow flesh potatoes (medium)
  • ½ head of rutabaga
  • ½ head of celery root (celeriac)
  • 2 cups of good chicken stock
  • ¼ cup of salted butter cubed

(Serves four)


  1. Add ¼ cup of salt and ¼ cup sugar to 6 cups of boiling water.
  2. Place pork belly into a deep roasting pan and slowly pour boiling sugar and salt water over the pork until ⅔ way up the side of the meat. Let stand overnight uncovered in the fridge.
  3. Peel yellow flesh potatoes and boil in salted water until fork tender.
  4. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, add the chicken stock and mash loosely (to pancake batter consistency). Dice rutabaga and celery root about 1 cm size. Mix into the mashed potato and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Preheat oven to 375°. Place root vegetable mixture into a buttered casserole dish, top with cubes of diced butter and bake for about 45 minutes or until a golden-brown crust has formed.
  6. Remove the pork from the sugar and salt water and press the skin with a paper towel to remove excess water.
  7. To a deep roasting tray add chopped onion, celery, carrots, thyme, sage, peeled and cored apples, and 2 cups of water. Top this with a wire rack.
  8. Add ¼ cup of salt to the top of the pork belly skin and spread evenly to coat top layer. Place pork belly on wire rack above the apples, veggies and herbs bake in the oven at 375° for about 30 minutes. Then remove the apples to a small bowl and continue cooking the pork belly for a further 1 hour.
  9. Once the pork belly has cooked for 1½ hours total, remove the stock from the roasting pan and strain out the veggies and herbs. Leave to cool.
  10. Increase oven temperature to 430°. Remove the salt crust and place pork back in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until skin has puffed and is golden brown throughout.
  11. Mash apples with a fork until smooth.
  12. Add dark ale and honey to a medium saucepan and reduce by half. Now add pork stock to the pan and bring to a boil.
  13. Add cornstarch little by little to pork liquor, heat gently to thicken to a thin glaze that coats the back of a spoon.
  14. To serve, spoon vegetable casserole into a large pasta bowl, top with a little mashed apple, some dark ale sauce. Add thick slices of pork belly. And nom nom!!
Chef Aaron Casserole

All of our Chefs and cooks are passionate about using hyper-local ingredients. If you can’t find an ingredient close to home, we have suggested some great alternatives. Visit the YDH Virtual Market to find everything you need to make the Ultimate Holiday Feast!

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