Paul Cooper’s roasted pork belly, 12-hour red wine-braised Kanzi apple

Paul Cooper (ex-Bishop Sessa) has moved to Victoria’s Yarra Valley where you’ll find him running the kitchen at Fable Dining Room. Here, he shares a recipe with us.

Roasted pork belly, 12-hour red wine-braised Kanzi apple


Let’s not worry about the pork too much here, that’s the easy bit! What is interesting about this recipe is the way the Kanzi apple holds its integrity and unique texture.


Serves 4

1kg pork belly

100g rock salt

2 tsp coconut oil

50g butter

2 Kanzi apples

250ml red wine

250ml apple juice (no added sugar)

250ml pork stock

4 sprigs of thyme


For the apples:

1.      Bring red wine to boil, reduce down to 100ml. Add thyme and pork stock.

2.     Peel, core and quarter the apples. Put these 8 quarters into a shallow dish and cover with the red wine 

        stock. They will float up, so use a light weight to keep them submerged.

3.     Cook in the oven at 80°C for 12 hours.


For the pork belly:

1.      Sprinkle all the rock salt on both sides of the pork belly. Leave in the fridge for 3 hours. Wash the salt off 

         the belly in clean, fresh cold water, wrap neatly in clingfilm and aluminium foil. Steam in a steam oven or 

         steam basket for 3 hours. Remove the foil, being careful of the hot juice.

2.     Press between two trays with weight on top and refrigerate until cold (3–4 hours).

3.     Remove pork belly from the fridge and remove clingfilm. Cut pork belly into 4 even-sized pieces.

4.     Put a large saucepan on high heat. When hot, add coconut oil, turn down to low and cook the pork, skin 

        side down, gently to warm through (approx. 12–15mins). Cover the pan lightly with a piece of aluminium 

        foil to prevent possible burns. This method will also give you the most irresistible crackling.

5.     Remove pork from pan and keep in a warm place.

6.     Return the pan to the heat. Remove the apples from the braising stock using a slotted spoon. Tip this 

        stock into the fry pan to reduce by half. Add butter, whisk until the butter is smooth and pour into sauce jug.

7.     Place one piece of pork on each plate, and two apple quarters next to it. Spoon on the sauce.