Confit Irish Pork Belly Recipe by Kate Lawlor with wine pairing

Recently I purchased Fergus Henderson’s nose to tail book. His recipe for confit pork belly intrigued me and I just had to give it a go.

So on to Avril Allshire of Caherbeg free range pork for some belly. With our less than gorgeous summer it just seemed like perfect comfort food dish to try and pair off with some new season carrots, parsnips and a touch of spice with some roasted spiced cauliflower.

2 kilos pork belly
coarse Irish sea salt
cracked black pepper
1 bunch rosemary
2 litres melted duck fat
4 apples
1 tablespoon juniper berries
4 bay leaves

1. In a plastic container scatter some sea salt, pepper and rosemary and place the belly down on this.
2. Repeat the process on top of the meat then seal the container and place in the fridge for 24 hours. This renders and flavours the meat and removes any excess water.
3. When 24 hours have passed brush off excess salt pepper and thyme and dry the meat
4. In a pot that will fit your belly of pork place the duck fat, apples, berries and bay leaves.
5. Lay a cartouche on top, then seal with cling film, run foil and a heavy lid.
6. Place on a very low heat for 4 1/2 hours. Alternatively you can cook at 120c in the oven.
7. Once cooked cool and set in a lined tray and weight down and press over night

Parsnip Purée
4 parsnips
700ml chicken stock
4 shallots
100g butter

1. Sweat the shallots and parsnip on a medium heat with the butter.
2. Add the chicken stock and cook until soft.
3. Purée in a blender and season to taste

Roast Cauliflower
1. Trim your florets and toss in olive oil, sea salt and a blend of spices. We use green saffron eastern confit spice blend.
2. Roast at 180c for 5 to 8 minutes

To serve
1. Bring a pan to high heat and place your portioned pork belly service side down first for 3 minutes.
2. Add the carrot and place in the oven for 8 minutes.
3. Add the cauliflower for a further 2 minutes, then plate and serve.


Our recommended Wine Pairing for this Recipe
Cave de Tain Crozes Hermitage du Fief €24.99

Syrah 2010

This wine has a slightly seductive nose with aromas of nutmeg, bramble and earthy tones with deep plummy notes that are intermingled with a sweet floral vegetal note.

The aromas just open beautifully on the palate with silky tannins and a sumptuous yet medium body. This is a complex wine that will keep you enthralled from the first sip to the last drop.

A great wine that will pair well with this comforting dish. This wine with its autumnal notes will just make this meal even more wholesome.

Available from O’Brien’s Wines Nationwide or Online.


Kate LawlerKate Lawlor is the Head Chef of Fenn’s Quay Restaurant in the heart of Cork City. Fenn’s Quay was named the Best Restaurant in Cork at this year’s Restaurant Association of Ireland awards.

In 2008 Kate took over the restaurant. Her philosophy is to use only the best local ingredients which she takes great pride in sourcing from places like the English Market and she is a committed member of EuroToques.

Fenn’s Quay Fenn’s Quay

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