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So winter is here and so are the holidays. To me that means large joints of meat. Now is the time splash out on ingredients we wouldn’t usually buy. At a Thanksgiving dinner a few weeks ago we were served up some amazing belly pork, cooked by my talented friend James. It was so good, that I immediately sent Niall out into to the cold to buy some as soon as we got home. This glorious piece of meat is for sale in Costco (I have included the label below). Be warned though its not for the faint hearted, this slab of frozen meat was a a whopping 3.7kg but priced at only 22,000(that was the smallest one)! Luckily it just about fit in my freezer. Last weekend I defrosted it and then cut it into 2 large pieces so it was able to fit in my oven. This would make a great christmas day alternative if you cant find a turkey or just if you really love pork.

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Ingredients

2kg of belly pork

1 large onion

7 cloves of garlic

1 apple

Salt and pepper for rubbing

Directions

Thaw you meat thoroughly over night. When you wake in the morning cut the piece into two or three unless you have a giant oven (In which case I hate you!) Wrap up the unused pieces and put into the fridge or give to a friend (eg: me). Slice your onion and apple, then roughly chop your garlic. Then put them into the bottom of your roasting tray. If you have any fresh herbs you could put them on too,  mine all died in the snow though 🙁 Score lines in the fat then rub on the salt and pepper.

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Put into an oven at 140 degrees Celsius uncovered for about an hour, this helps the skin get crispy. Then loosely cover with foil and cook for another 4-6 hours. All the fat  juices will collect at the boom of the pan so make sure to pour them off into a jug to save for later. You should also baste about once an hour. This was very easy for me as my oven only cooks for an hour at a time.  After about two hours you may wish to remove your onions and garlic if you are hoping to use them later for your gravy. Other wise they will burn to a crisp.

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Once the pork has been fully roasted remove from the oven and leave to rest for at least an hour, loosely covered in foil. Then slice your delicious meat. You can serve exactly how it is or cover the slices in a beautiful apple gravy.  I made mine with the onions, garlic and apple from the roasting pan, the juice from the pork, a little red wine, and a bit of bisto for good measure. Pour over the slices to keep them soft and tender. If you’re not using it straight away this is the best method of storage. Be sure to keep your fat for roasting the potatoes, no one minds a bit of cholesterol at Christmas. Voilà there you have the best roast dinner ever!

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