IN unprecedented times of crisis, we all need some comfort food to help us cope. Spending more time away from the office means that we have a little more freedom to experiment with home-cooked food.

Belly pork is always a winner – rich, delicious, satisfying, with an unbeatable combo of a crisp exterior and tender centre. It’s also reasonably priced, so is ideal for feeding a family.

Ask your butcher to take the bones out, as these are essential for making the rich and tasty stock that forms the basis of the sauce.

Baking the potatoes for the mash takes a little more effort than simply boiling the spuds and mashing them, but the added flavour and texture is worth the bother.

People often ask me why mash at the pub tastes different to mash at home, well, this is one of the tricks of the trade.

So, happy cooking, and keep well until we can welcome you back to The Manor Arms.

MORE RECIPES: Slow Cooked Lamb Shank


Serves 4

Pork belly

Pork belly boned and scored (allow at least ½ a pound per person, and some extra for hungry people)

Sea salt to lightly cover skin on belly 100ml white wine

300ml apple juice 1 litre chicken stock

1 leek, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

2 sticks celery, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

Broccoli to serve – or any green vegetable of your choice


Salt the skin side of the belly and leave on a tray in the fridge for 1 hour

Sweat leek, carrots, celery & onion in a little oil – colour and then add pork bones from belly

After five minutes add wine and reduce by half, then add the chicken stock and apple juice – reduce by half

Wash salt off belly

Put the vegetables in bottom of a deep tray, put belly on top (skin side down), cover with stock and greaseproof over and then foil

Cook for four hours at 145C

Carefully take out and cool slightly then press – cover with greaseproof and press with a tray and heavy object in for at least six hours

Strain the stock for the sauce and reduce if necessary for desired thickness

When cooking the belly, trim up sides of belly and neatly portion to size, drizzle oil in a cold pan, heat up, and place belly skin side down and leave until golden

Place in the oven for 12-15 mins at 170C

For the mash

6 – 8 large potatoes such as King Edward 150g butter

100ml milk 100ml cream


Bake potatoes in their skins until soft, at 180C and approx. 1-1.5 hours

Scoop out and add the milk, cream and butter that has been heated together in a pan until bubbling

Mash together until smooth, and season

Serve at the pork and mash at once with the cooking sauce and steamed vegetables.