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Pork Belly with Apple Cider Recipe

Recipe and Food Production Marlene van der Westhuizen Food styling Raphaella Frame Photograph Jac de Villiers Ingredients: 125g demerara sugar 2 litres chicken stock 4 spring onions, chopped 1 finger of ginger, peeled and chopped 1 star anise 4 cloves 2 bay leaves 250ml semi-sweet apple cider 6 fresh sage leaves, chopped 2kg pork belly, bones removed, cut into bite-sized pieces fresh sage Directions: Place all the ingredients, except the pork and the sage, into a large cooking pot and bring to a simmering boil. Keep stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the chopped sage and simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the pork, reduce the heat and cover to cook for about 30 minutes. Remove the lid and cook uncovered over a very low heat for another two hours, taking care not to let it cook dry (add more cider if necessary). Once the meat is soft, transfer it to a serving platter and keep warm. Scoop most of the fat off the remaining liquid and discard. Reduce the rest of the liquid until it is thick and syrupy. Sauté the sage leaves in a little olive oil. To serve, spoon the sauce over the meat and garnish with the sautéed sage leaves. Serves 6 Recommended wine pairing: Thelema Rhine Riesling 2009 This recipe is from the February 2011 House and Leisure Food issue.