Serves 6
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For the sauce:

  1. Preheat the oven to 150˚C/130˚C fan/gas mark 2.
  2. Layer two long sheets of tin foil into a baking dish. Place the onions, apples, garlic cloves and rosemary on the foil.
  3. Dry the pork rind thoroughly with kitchen paper. Use a sharp knife to score the rind in a criss-cross pattern at 2cm intervals (you can also ask your butcher to do this for you).
  4. In a small bowl, mix the salt, Chinese five-spice and oil. Rub this all over the pork belly, including the rind, working it into all crevices. Place the pork on the onions and apples, rind side up.
  5. Gather up the foil so that it surrounds the pork but leaves the top skin rind exposed. This will keep the meat moist and retain its juices while allowing the rind to become crackling.
  6. Place in the oven and cook for two hours. Reduce the oven to 140˚C/120˚C fan/gas mark 1 and cook for another hour.
  7. Remove from the oven and turn the heat up to 220˚C/200˚C fan/gas mark 7. Pour the juices from the pan into a saucepan. Set aside for the sauce.
  8. Return the pork to the oven and cook for another 20 minutes to finish the crackling.
  9. To make the sauce, add the brown sugar, red wine vinegar, star anise and cinnamon stick to the pan juices in the saucepan over a medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5-6 minutes until syrupy. Add the orange juice and chicken stock. Bring back to a boil and simmer for 7-8 minutes until reduced. Season with salt and black pepper. Remove the star anise and cinnamon stick.
  10. Slice the pork and serve with the sauce.