Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours
Make-Ahead: The pork can be marinated up to 1 day in advance of cooking.
One 5-pound pork belly, skin on
1 fennel bulb, bulb and tops separated
4 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
4 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon fennel seed, ground
1 teaspoon red chile flakes
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons plus 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Zest of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Granny Smith apples, cored, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
To roast pork:
- Position rack in center of oven and preheat oven to 250°F.
- Score skin about 1/8-inch deep into strips that are about 1/2-inch wide, being careful not to pierce meat.
- Separate fennel fronds from stems and reserve separately.
- In mini food processor, chop reserved fennel fronds, rosemary, and garlic, with black pepper, fennel seed, chile flakes, 2 tablespoons oil, and 1 tablespoon sea salt.
- Place pork belly skin side down on board. Spread all but 2 tablespoons herb and garlic mixture over meat; rub remaining mixture over skin side of pork.
- Place reserved fennel stems on double burner grill pan or on a rack set inside a large baking sheet and place pork on top of fennel stems.
- Roast pork for 2 1/2 to 3 hours, or until meat thermometer inserted into center of pork reads 190°F and pork is tender.
- Increase oven temperature to 450°F and continue roasting pork for about 25 minutes, or until skin is crispy. Allow pork to rest for at least 15 minutes before serving.
Meanwhile, to prepare fennel and apple salad:
- In medium bowl, combine lemon zest and juice. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup oil. Stir in chives and parsley. Season vinaigrette with salt and pepper.
- Thinly shave fennel bulb with vegetable peeler or mandolin.
- In large bowl, toss shaved fennel and apple with vinaigrette. Season with salt and pepper.
- Slice pork into 3/4-inch-thick slices and serve with fennel and apple salad.