Roast Pork Belly, Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad

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This Pork Belly Salad is a revelation. It is the perfect balance of crackling crunch, melting meat, crisp apple, sweet walnuts and peppery dressing.

Roast Pork Belly Apple & Caramelised Walnut Salad in a white bowl on a wooden board

This recipe was originally published in 2014 but there was one key issue I had with the recipe which meant I didn’t make it as often as I wanted to. The pork belly took too long to cook.

But guess what?? I fixed it. This pork belly salad is now a quick and delicious week night supper. It bursts with flavour and will be a guaranteed hit with anyone you serve it to.

What’s so brilliant about this Pork Belly Salad

  • If you like salads with big hearty flavour this is one for you as the pork belly smacks you round the chops with garlicky lemon zest and herbs.
  • Plus its salty crisp crackling and soft tender meat is so divine.
  • The apple adds a fresh juicy crunch.
  • The bitterness of the walnuts contrast perfectly with their salted caramel coating and make the salad something quite special.
  • The honey mustard dressing brings all the flavour components together perfectly.
  • It’s wonderfully satisfying and doesn’t leave you laden down with that carby feeling.

Bowl of Roast Pork Belly Apple & Caramelised Walnut Salad on a wooden board

If you want some more big flavoured salads then why not try:

Coronation Chicken Salad
Easy Brown Rice Salad with Pesto Vinaigrette
Roasted Cauliflower Salad with Tahini Turmeric Dressing

So how do you make a quick pork belly recipe?

Easy. Use pork belly slices. Our butcher actually pre-butchers the pork belly and displays it in slices as it’s so much less hassle to cook it that way.

Also you can get more flavour into your pork belly by seasoning it and cooking it in slices.

The pork belly slices cooking time is only 30 minutes to roast in the oven. In that time you will achieve soft and tender meat and gorgeously crunchy crackling that almost melts into the pork.

Freshly roasted pork belly strips resting in a bowl

How to make the best pork seasoning

This is my favourite pork seasoning and I use it as a dry rub on everything from pork chops to pulled pork. It’s easy to prepare and so punchy with flavour. All you need is:

  • fresh rosemary
  • fennel seeds
  • garlic powder
  • lemon zest
  • salt and pepper

Ingredients for pork belly seasoning on the work top

Finely chop the rosemary leaves and mix them with crushed fennel seeds, garlic powder, lemon zest and salt and pepper then rub all over your pork before cooking. No marinating time needed.

How to cook pork belly slices

Pork belly slices are incredibly easy and quick to cook. Plus they seem really impressive.

  • First make several incisions along the skin of the pork belly to open up the fat. This means your crackling will cook in the same amount of time as your meat. The crackling will be crunchy and your pork will be soft and juicy.

Raw Pork belly on a wooden board

  • Pat the pork belly dry with kitchen towel then place uncovered in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight. This will help dry out the fat for the crackling to really crisp up.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Rub the seasoning mix all over the pork belly slices.

Pork belly slices on a board covered in pork seasoning

  • Lay them, untouching, on a metal rack set over a deep roasting tray.

Roast pork belly slices on a tray ready to go in the oven

  • Roast the pork belly for 15 minutes, flip them over then cook for another 15 minutes.
  • Remove from the oven and rest for a few minutes before slicing width ways and serving.

Expert Tips

  • Use a very good pair of sharp kitchen scissors to cut into the skin of the pork belly. Cut into the side of the fat, rather than snipping from the top. Aim a scissor blade just beneath the skin to make a very controlled cut.

  • Don’t penetrate the flesh, otherwise the meat will go dry in the oven.
  • Don’t skip resting the pork belly in the fridge. It will dry out the crackling making it all the more crunchy.
  • Depending on how thick your butcher has cut your pork belly slices, some may be cooked quicker than others. Keep an eye on the slices after 30 minutes of total cooking time and remove and rest the slices that are ready.
  • The pork belly slices are ready when the meat still looks juicy and the crackling bubbled. When you press the crackling it shouldn’t bounce back but be firm and crisp to the touch.
  • Rest the pork belly for 5-10 minutes before serving but not too long otherwise the meat will dry out.

Caramelised Walnuts

If you think the pork belly sounds good enough as it is then these caramelised walnuts take the proceedings to another level entirely.

They are not to be missed.

caramelised walnuts cooling on a wooden board

Making a mini caramel may sound decadent or a bit of a scary prospect but I’m here to take you through it and assure you how easy and foolproof it is.

  1. First toast the walnut halves for 10 minutes in the oven.
  2. Make the caramel by melting the sugar in a good heavy based saucepan.
  3. Keep a close eye on the sugar. Do not stir but wait until it has melted. Then immediately add the butter.
  4. At this point you can stir together.
  5. When the butter and sugar are smooth then add the walnuts. Quickly coat with the caramel.
  6. As soon as the walnuts are completely coated then tip out onto some baking parchment and leave to cool.
  7. Once cool, roughly chop, leaving some of the walnut halves whole.

Expert Tips

  • Do not answer the phone or the doorbell if you are making caramel. It burns in the blink of an eye.
  • I use enamelled cast iron saucepans (like Le Creuset) for all my caramel work as they create an even heat distribution.
  • Use a silicone spatula for stirring otherwise the caramel is a pain to clean off utensils.
  • Place your baking parchment on a heat resistant surface (I use a baking tray) before you begin melting the sugar so it’s
  • ready straightaway.
  • To clean your saucepan, leave to soak in hot water. It will melt the sugar off and leave it easy to clean.

What else can you use Caramelised Walnuts for?

Bowls of Roast Pork Belly Apple & Caramelised Walnut Salad on a wooden board

Salad Veg for Pork Belly Salad

  • The pork belly and caramelised walnuts are paired with a fresh sliced dessert apple like a Jazz apple or Braeburn. However you can use Granny Smith if you want extra crunch.
  • Little Gem – you can swap for romaine lettuce or cos if that is what you have to hand.
  • Green Pepper – the slight sourness of this salad vegetable fits so nicely with the apple and caramelised walnuts. However, if you don’t like green pepper then swap for a sweeter red pepper.
  • Celery – If you don’t like celery then swap for a thinly sliced fresh fennel bulb or diced cucumber.
  • Spring Onions – you can leave them out if you don’t like them.

If you make this Roast Pork Belly Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad then please leave a comment below and/or give the recipe a rating. If you then go on to use this recipe as a launch pad for your own baking creation then I’d also love it if you’d share it and tag me on Instagram. It is so lovely for me to see your versions and variations of my recipes.

Roast Pork Belly Apple & Caramelised Walnut Salad in a white bowl on a wooden board

Roast Pork Belly, Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad

Roast Pork Belly Apple and Caramelised Walnut Salad is the perfect balance of crackling crunch, melting meat, crisp apple, sweet walnuts and peppery dressing.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Resting Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 1327

Ingredients

  • 800 g pork belly
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • ½ teaspoon fennel seeds crushed
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • zest ½ lemon
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 apple (something like braeburn, jazz or pink lady)
  • 2 little gem lettuces leaves removed and washed
  • 1 green pepper core and seeds removed and sliced thinly
  • 6 spring onions sliced on the diagonal
  • 2 celery sticks sliced thinly

Caramelised Walnuts

  • 60 g walnut pieces
  • 30 g caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salted butter

Dressing

  • 1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon honey
  • 30 ml extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  • Place the raw pork belly slices on a clean surface and make deep cuts into the fat on the top of the meat. Make sure not to penetrate the pink flesh.
  • Place the pork belly on a plate, on some clean kitchen towel. Place uncovered in the fridge for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  • The next day, pre-heat the oven to 200°C.
  • Remove the pork belly slices from the fridge.
  • Mix together the rosemary, fennel seeds, garlic powder, lemon zest, salt and pepper in a small bowl then rub all over the pork belly.
  • Place the pork belly slices on a rack over a deep roasting tray and roast in the oven for an initial 15 minutes.
  • Turn the pork belly slices over and roast for another 15 minutes or until the crackling on the pork belly is golden and crisp. Some slices may be ready before others. If so just remove and leave to rest whilst the others finish cooking.
  • Once all the pork belly is ready, remove from the oven and leave to rest whilst you make the rest of the salad.
  • Place the walnuts on a small baking tray and place in the oven pre-heated to 180°C for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven.
  • Place the sugar in a small saucepan and cook over a low heat until the sugar has melted.
  • Add the butter and mix into the sugar with a silicone spatula. Stir to create a smooth caramel.
  • Drop the toasted walnuts into the caramel and stir to coat. Remove from the heat and tip the caramelised walnuts onto a tray lined with baking parchment to rest. Once cool, roughly chop.
  • To make the dressing, pour the mustard and vinegar in a small dish with plenty of salt and pepper and whisk together until the salt dissolves, then whisk in the honey. Drizzle the olive oil into the dish, whisking hard to emulsify the dressing, once it’s all mixed in, taste for seasoning.
  • Assemble the final salad by slicing the pork width ways, then toss together with the rest of the ingredients, drizzling with the dressing at the last minute.

Notes

Pork Belly
  • Buy your pork belly ready sliced from your local butcher.
  • Cut the pork belly skin with a good pair of kitchen scissors. Cut into the side not snipping from the top. Do not pierce the pink meat.
  • Try not to skip the resting of the pork belly in the oven which helps to dry out the skin for creating the best crackling.
  • Some pork belly slices may be ready sooner than others depending on the thickness of the cut.
  • Rest the roasted pork belly for 5-10 minutes but not too long otherwise it will dry out.
Caramelised Walnuts
  • Do not answer the phone or the doorbell if you are making caramel. It burns in the blink of an eye.
  • Use good heavy bottomed saucepan.
  • Use a silicone spatula for stirring otherwise the caramel is a pain to clean off utensils.
  • Place your baking parchment on a heat resistant surface (I use a baking tray) before you begin melting the sugar so it’s ready straightaway.
  • To clean your saucepan, leave to soak in hot water. It will melt the sugar off and leave it easy to clean.
Salad
  • Any of the salad vegetables can be swapped. Try:
  • Little Gem  >  Cos or Romaine
  • Green Pepper  >  Red Pepper
  • Celery  >  Fennel or Cucumber
  • Spring Onions can be omitted.

Nutrition

Calories: 1327kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 126g | Saturated Fat: 42g | Cholesterol: 149mg | Sodium: 566mg | Potassium: 967mg | Fiber: 7g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 1765IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 101mg | Iron: 3mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @FromTheLarder or tag #FromTheLarder!

Update Notes: This recipe was originally posted in 2014, but was updated in August of 2019 with slight changes to the recipe as well as new photos, nutritional information and expert tips.

Comments


  1. DELICIOUS PARTICULARLY WITH THE CARAMELISED WALNUTS.

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