Belly Pork with Sage and Garlic


So-called barbecue ribs and belly slices - like Desperate Dan bacon rashers - which the French call poitrine and use for pates and terrines, are very good in stews and for rillettes. They are fatty but very meaty, extremely tasty and, very cheap. They are also good steamed. Simply cut into chunks, rub with seasoning (Chinese spices are very good) and steam for about 10 minutes. The juices will amalgamate with the melted fat to make a sauce.

Using a potato peeler, remove half the lemon zest in paper-thin scraps. Place the pork on a plate and squeeze juice from half the lemon over the top. Peel, halve and finely slice the onions. Peel the garlic and slice in paper-thin rounds. Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium flame and when hot, quickly stir-fry the garlic for about 30 seconds until golden. Scoop onto a fold of kitchen paper to crisp. Brown two pieces of pork at a time and return to the plate. Stir the onions into the pan, lower the heat and let them soften, adding the finely chopped sage and after about 5 minutes, the lemon zest, 1 tsp salt and 150ml water. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Peel the potatoes. Remove the lid from the onions to drive off the liquid. Tip the beans in a colander and rinse under cold running water. Tip half the onion mixture into a heavy-bottomed, Le Creuset-type lidded pan. Snuggle in the pork, add the rest of the onions, any meat juices, the stock and beans, tucking the potatoes under the liquid. Establish a gentle simmer, loosely drape a sheet of greaseproof paper into the food, cover and cook over a low heat for 45 minutes. Squeeze over the remaining lemon juice, season, return the lid and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the meat is meltingly soft. Stir in the chopped flat leaf parsley and serve with a garlic garnish and lemon wedge

Serves 4

Prep: 30 min

Cook: 1 hour 15 min

Cost: approx £6



1 large unwaxed lemon

4 thick rashers of belly pork, approx 1 kg in total

3 large garlic cloves

2 tbsp groundnut oil

2 large onions

10 sage leaves

400g can haricot beans

400ml chicken stock or 1/2 (half) cube dissolved in

400ml water

16 small Rosevale, Charlotte or other waxy potatoes,

approx 600g in total

25g flat leaf parsley

lemon wedges and crusty bread to serve