Softly spiced pork belly with beetroot borani

Softly spiced pork belly with beetroot borani. Photograph: Harry Weir

Softly spiced pork belly with beetroot borani. Photograph: Harry Weir

Sat, Oct 23, 2021, 05:55

  • Serves: 10
  • Cooking Time: 180 mins
  • Course: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Irish


  • 3 onions, unpeeled and cut into 1 cm circles
  • 1 bulb of garlic, unpeeled and halved
  • A large piece of ginger, roughly cut
  • A few sprigs of thyme
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 2.5kg piece of pork belly, skin off, bone in
  • A drizzle of rapeseed oil
  • 1tbs mixed spice
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 300ml water
  • 4tbs golden brown sugar
  • 2 packets cooked beetroot (each 500g)
  • 100g walnuts
  • 2tbs rapeseed oil
  • 1tsp coriander seeds
  • 1tsp golden brown sugar
  • ½tsp mixed spice
  • 1tbs honey
  • 3tbs natural yogurt
  • 1tbs red wine vinegar
  • 2tbs chopped dill
  • Salt and pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 165 degrees.

2. Put the onions flat on a roasting tray to form a trivet, then add the garlic, ginger, thyme and bay.

3. Place the pork on top of the onions, skin side up, and drizzle the rapeseed oil over the top, to help the spices stick to the skin.

4. Scatter the spices evenly over the pork, then season generously.

5. Add the water to the tray, cover tightly with foil and cook for two hours.

6. Remove the foil, then scatter the sugar evenly over the pork.

7. Turn the oven up to 185 degrees.

8. Cook the pork for a further 30 minutes until completely tender and burnished.


1. Put the beetroot into a food processor along with any residual juice, and then, without turning the machine on (leave it unplugged to be on the safe side), cut the beetroot into smaller chunks with a knife. This helps with the processing and is a lot less messy.

2. Put the walnuts into a frying pan with the oil, coriander seeds, sugar and spice and cook over a medium heat for two to three minutes, until the walnuts toast and caramelise with the sugar.

3. Add the walnuts to the beetroot, then add the honey, yogurt, vinegar and dill.

4. Season and purée, leaving a little texture in the beetroot.

5. Slice the pork and serve with the beetroot borani and something green. Roast potatoes would be delicious too. Save any remaining pork – it will keep for up to three days in the fridge.