Bulmers Cider and Slow Roast Pork Belly

There is something of a comfort food quality that I associate with slow roasted pork. Whether its ham, smoked ham, shoulder, loin, or in this recipe pork belly. Although this particular cut of pork contains a good dose of fat, the slow roasting process renders that fat down so that most of it doesn’t wind up on your plate, or your belly.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 ½ pounds deboned pork belly
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Salt
  • 1 onion, thickly sliced
  • 1 carrot, roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
  • About 1 ½-¾ cups Bulmers Irish Apple cider
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cloves

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees

Using a very sharp knife, score the skin of the pork, this helps the fat run off. Take care not to cut all the way through the fat to the meat. Boil a kettle full of water (about 10 cups) and pour it over the skin. Throw away the water and pat the pork dry. This will help the skin crisp up during the cooking. Rub the pork with the canola oil and sprinkle with salt.

Place the vegetables in a roasting dish and put the pork on top, skin side up. Pour the cider and stock around the meat. Toss in the bay leaf, and cloves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Roast the pork in the center of your oven for 20 minutes, or until the skin is brown and crisp. Reduce the oven to 275 degrees and cook for another 2 ½ hours.

Remove the pork from the oven, transfer it to a plate, and leave in a warm place to rest. Strain the contents of the roasting dish through a fine sieve and place in a pot. Bring it to a boil over high heat and reduce the liquid, skimming all the time, until the sauce thickens and becomes syrupy, about 8-10 minutes.

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Bulmers Cider Duck

It’s a blog about Long Island, so there has to be a duck in here somewhere… and this is a wonderful recipe that I usually make in the fall, but its equally at home in March I suppose. The tang of apples and the succulence of duck… brought together with a hard cider sauce.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A 5 pound duck
  • A bottle of Bulmers original cider
  • 3 granny smith apples cored and diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter unsalted
  • 2 tablespoons or so of flour
  • A rasher of two of bacon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Rub your duck with a little salt and pepper and fill its cavity with the diced apples. Secure the flap with skewers and place it on the rack of a good roasting pan. Pour ¾ of the bottle of cider over the duck, and then lay a rasher or two of bacon over it. Pop this into the oven for about 2 ½ hours, basting every twenty of thirty minutes or so. Once the duck is cooked, transfer it to a warm serving platter and let’s make some sauce.

Deglaze the roasting pan over a medium heat with the remaining cider, then lower the heat and add the butter then start adding the flour to create a smooth roux. This is then poured into your gravy boat, and it should really float your duck over there.