Serves a Crowd

Slow Cooker Pork Belly with Braised Apples and Cabbage

November 20, 2009
0 Ratings
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This recipe starts with a long brine in apple cider and spices, to layer flavor early in the process. I then layer in more apple flavor in the braising liquid by adding apple brandy and cider vinegar. I specify American apple brandy because it's fruitier than Calvados, which tends to be more nuanced and subtle. —adashofbitters

What You'll Need
  • 1 3/4 - 2 pounds pork belly
  • 22 ounces hard apple cider
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds, freshly ground
  • 2 tablespoons juniper berries, freshly ground
  • 4 tablespoons grapeseed oil, separated
  • 4 cups chicken or pork stock
  • 1/4 cup American apple brandy (for example, Laird's)
  • 1/4 cup apple-cider vinegar
  • 4 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups sliced apples
  1. If pork belly still has skin on one side, score through skin in a diamond pattern, to allow brine to penetrate into meat.
  2. Combine apple cider, salt, sugar, mustard seed, and juniper berries in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer to dissolve salt and sugar, and remove from heat.
  3. Place brine and pork belly into a plastic bag. Store in refrigerator for 8-24 hours. Turn the bag over two or three times to redistribute brine.
  4. Remove belly from brine, rinse off any spices that cling to it, and dry it well with a paper towel.
  5. Heat 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil in a skillet over high heat. Add belly and sear on all sides.
  6. Allow belly to cool, then add it to a slow cooker. Divide belly into two or more portions, if necessary, to fit. Add stock, apple brandy, and apple-cider vinegar. Liquid should not cover belly, so use less stock if necessary.
  7. Cook on low heat for 6 or more hours, or until internal temperature of pork reaches 160° F.
  8. Remove pork from braising liquid. Cut into serving-sized portions. Heat remaining grapeseed oil over high heat and sear belly pieces on all sides.
  9. Place cabbage and apples in a saucepan. Ladle enough pork braising liquid over cabbage and apples to cover. Braise until just soft.
  10. Serve pork over braised apples and cabbage.
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  • fuhsi
  • Savorykitchen
  • wanderash
  • adashofbitters
I'm a home bartender/mixologist who also loves to cook!

5 Reviews

fuhsi January 13, 2014
Wow- again! No pork belly at New York City's Whole Foods, but here in Colorado they did. This recipe is so good, and worth the effort. Thanks again for sharing!
While pork belly is a special treat, I prefer the shoulder since I'm not a big meat-eater and like fat even less.
fuhsi January 26, 2012
Wow! is all we can say: tried this Sunday and

1. it's a phenomenal way to cook pork, making it so tender you won't need a knife, and
2. fantastic mix of flavors I'd never have thought of on my own

Used pork shoulder as neither Fresh Direct of Whole Foods had pork belly.

Served this with broccoli raab sauteed with garlic to balance out the sweetness.

Had to shop for the brandy, hard cider, and juniper berries but it is so worth it.
Savorykitchen November 21, 2009
I am making this next week - belly thawing in the fridge as I type, my home-made cider racked and ready to go. Looks fantastic!
wanderash November 20, 2009
this looks fantastic! i make something very similar with bone-in pork roast for christmas eve dinner. (i love braised apples and cabbage!) i might switch it up this year with your pork belly recipe!
adashofbitters November 20, 2009
thank you!